Degenerative Disc Disease,  Health & Fitness

Degenerative Disc Disease

 

Why HELLOOOOO third week of January! Aren’t you just flying by!

A week or so ago, I wrote a post on my Facebook page regarding my lower back issues (see image below).  If you read my blog a couple of posts back, you would know that one of my biggest goals this year is to finally start healing myself (as holistically as possible) and finally do more research about my condition but most of all, be PROACTIVE in healing.  I wanted to document and share my experience on my blog, in case someone out there finds it helpful.

The few things I have been focusing a lot on this last week have been:

✔️Easing back off high intensity exercise

✔️Incorporating more Yoga sessions

✔️Drinking 3L+ of fluids everyday

✔️Chiropractic appointments

 

Easing back off high intensity exercise

As much as I love CrossFit and SOOOOO badly want to get back into heavy lifting, I have decided to step things back a bit instead 😪  After doing some research, I’ve realised it’s smarter to hold back a little bit longer in getting my strength back.  Diving head-first into heavy lifting and repetitive high-impact movements can actually worsen my condition, apply more pressure to my disc and therefore cause more damage in the long run, possibly risking bone-on-bone grinding and pinching of the nerves in my spine.  I obviously don’t want this so I will be doing everything in moderation (not eliminating anything entirely) and just listening to my body to make sure I am not overdoing any particular movement that could potentially be harmful for my spine.

Incorporating more Yoga sessions

Yoga has many amazing benefits, one of them being that it will help provide movement and mobility in my spine, helping to create space between my joints and hopefully offer some relief in my lower back ☺️ I want to eventually make it to our local Yoga studio but for now to save some money (after buying a whole gym set-up😳), I have been following a 30-Day Yoga Journey video series on YouTube and loving it!

Drinking 3L+ of fluid everyday

As discs are mostly made up of water and there fore thrive on it, I have made a huge effort to increase my intake of fluids.  I have a 750mL water bottle that I try to have 3 of plus I have a big glass of lemon water as soon as I wake up, herbal teas and a mug or two of bone broth everyday.  They all help towards hydrating my discs and the rest of my body and as a side bonus, my skin is nice and clear too 😁

Chiropractic appointments

Last week, I went to my first chiropractic appointment to have a proper examination for my back.  I have tried it before but found that I had no end goal, no clear tests and the pain relief was temporary … so, I gave up.  This year, I want to do it properly and COMMIT to treatment so that I can slow this degenerative disease down as much as possible and avoid any bone spurs.  I chose chiropractic work because I’ve read in my research that manipulation can help ease pressure on discs and joints. (In saying this, I will still try to get a deep tissue massage once a month plus all my other mobility work)

My first appointment with Platinum Chiropractic was AWESOME.  They ran tests on me like x-ray, flexibility tests, balance tests and also felt around my back and neck.  I received manipulation on my first appointment too. That afternoon, I went to CrossFit and though the workout had deadlifts and DB snatches, my back felt great… just minimal pain 😍 (I did scale the weight back too)

I went back for my second appointment this week to discuss my x-ray results and they showed that my right hip is slightly higher than my left hip, causing two curvatures in my spine – one in my lumbar and the other one in my neck.  So the goal is now to re-align my spine through manipulation and smart everyday therapies (and nutrition).  If I don’t do this, the pressure on my disc from my curvy spine will stay and over time, will get worse, eventually leading to an even more compressed disc and bone spurs.  In my 30s!

The plan going forward is two sessions per week, for six weeks and then a re-examination (x-rays, etc) to see how my spine is progressing.  Then hopefully from there, just one treatment per week, or one treatment every fortnight. I’m super excited to see the results and changes, which I’ll document😊

Things to improve on:

The things I want to keep improving is my posture – I will often pop my hip to one side when I am standing or resting or even just sitting on the couch watching TV.  The other thing is to avoid sitting down for too long.  Sitting down for long periods of time can put more stress on spinal discs.  I can easily lose track of time when I work in front of the computer so the goal is to stand up and walk around every 30 minutes or so.

That’s my update for now!  If you did read it and you are in a similar situation or have been in through something like DDD, I would love to hear from you!

 

 

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