Running with Degenerative Disc Disease

Adopting healthy habits following spine surgery in Los Angeles is one way to minimize the risk of experiencing problems later. It can also help with the healing process by minimizing health-related issues. Many of these habits can impact other aspects of your health as well.

Quit Smoking

Nicotine and can make it difficult for essential nutrients to get to tissues in the spine. Nicotine also slows the healing process following surgery and may cause issues with bone growth when fusion surgery is performed.

Minimize Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is a depressant that may affect mood post-surgery or cause you to take risks with certain movements that aren’t good for your healing back. Alcohol may also interact with medications you’ll need to take after surgery.

Embrace Ergonomics

Whether it’s a lumbar support cushion or an ergonomically designed chair, there are plenty of products available that will provide proper support along all areas of the spine. You can also use such products on long car rides or flights to minimize discomfort.

Improve Your Posture

Poor posture can place added stress on your spine that can negate any benefits from your surgery. Posture can be improved by shifting sitting and standing positions, minimizing “neck dropping” when using mobile devices, avoiding awkward positions, and keeping your head and shoulders in alignment.

Avoid Prolonged Sitting

Sitting for long periods of time can place too much pressure on joints and muscles supporting your spine. Make an effort to stand up while working as much as possible or take breaks to walk around.

Watch Your Weight

Excess weight adds stress to joints and muscles supporting the spine, especially in the lower back area. Even losing ten pounds can be good for your back.

Balance Your Diet

Green, leafy veggies, blueberries, and fatty fish like salmon are foods that naturally reduce inflammation. A spine-healthy diet also includes lean proteins and vitamin-rich dairy products.

Your doctor may recommend working with a dietitian, physical therapist, or personal trainer to help develop an overall fitness and dietary routine. It will take a few months for any changes you make to become habit, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

If you’re interested in a second opinion or would like to learn more about options for pain relief, reach out to The Spine Institute Center by calling (310) 828-7757 today. Medical Director Dr. Bae and his team of spine specialists can help you return to a pain-free lifestyle quickly and with minimal discomfort.