Neck Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD) | Guelph Physiotherapy

Jan 28th, 2022

Physiotherapy Guelph

Neck Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD) - Guelph Physiotherapy

Degenerative Disk Disease is a condition in which the vertebral discs wear down, thus causing neck and/or back pain. This can occur with age or as the result of activity or a sports injury. 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Degenerative Disk Disease? 

  • Pain in the neck or back 

  • Pain extending to the arms, hands, and thighs  

  • Increased pain after sitting, bending, lifting, or twisting  

How is Degenerative Disk Disease Diagnosed? 

A physician will review a patient's medical history and conduct a physical exam to determine if the patient has DDD. Imaging tests such as X-rays, a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI), or computed tomography (CT) scan may be used to confirm the diagnosis. 

What are the Common Treatments for Degenerative Disk Disease? 

Physical therapy can be used to strengthen the muscles in the back to support the back and reduce symptoms. 

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), pain relievers (acetaminophen), corticosteroids injections or surgery may also be used. 

Treatments for Degenerative Disk Disease

Your HPC Guelph Physiotherapist will design a treatment plan based on the findings from your physical examination as well as your personal goals. Specifically, physiotherapy can help stretch and strengthen the back muscles to help reduce painful flare-ups from DDD.  

The treatment plan may include stretching and flexibility exercises that will improve movement and motion in the spine's joints and muscles. In addition, strengthening exercises will improve support for your spinal joints. Increasing the strength of your arm and leg muscles will help take some of the workload off the spine.  

Your physiotherapist may also utilize manual therapy to improve movement in tight muscles and stiff joints. Finally, physiotherapists will provide proper education on DDD and suggest changes to your posture when sitting, standing, bending, or sleeping to help relieve pain and manage this condition.  

You can adopt several habits in your everyday life to lessen the impact and slow the progression of DDD. For example, regular exercise, such as walking, swimming, or low impact aerobics classes, will help relieve pain and improve your overall strength and mobility.  

For more information about Degenerative Disk Disease or our physiotherapy services at HPC, reach out to us today. 

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*About the HPC Student Volunteer Program* 

Each year, approximately 30 University of Guelph students are selected following a competitive application process to take part in the “HPC Volunteer Program.” This program provides an opportunity for U of G student volunteers to translate their academic knowledge into practice, while gaining first-hand experience and mentorship from the team of certified physiotherapists and chiropractors at the University of Guelph’s Health and Performance Centre. As a result of this exceptional partnership between the University of Guelph and the HPC practitioners, students can gain valuable insight on evidence-based practice prior to graduating from their respective programs. Click here for more information on co-curricular experiential learning opportunities at the University of Guelph. This article was written by members of the 2021-22 HPC Student Volunteer Program.