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A 21-year-old member asked:

I have degenerative disc disease withspurs in my back and neck. do you think i'll be in much pain the older i get?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine 31 years experience
"motion is lotion": Degenerative disc disease and spurs usually indicate an inflammatory condition of the spine. This can be caused by over-use, trauma, or other causes. Long term pain can be mitigated by maintaining flexibility and strength. I encourage patients to remember, "motion is lotion;" the more your keep the joint(s) moving, the smoother they will move for you. Keep inflammation down with ice and advil (ibuprofen).
Dr. Sarkis Banipalsin
Specializes in Family Medicine
Age and degeneration: As we get older, the disc degeneration will get worse slowly. The narrowing in disc space may cause pressure on nerve. Also we lose the muscle bulk and function as we get older. As the result we will have a weaker muscle to support back. You might feel more pain later. So always be prepared. Do exercises and stretching. Avoid sudden unexpected moves. Be careful about lifting. See your doctor.
Dr. Barbara A Majeroni
Specializes in Family Medicine
Not necessarily: The key to keeping the back pain from worsening is to stay as active as you can. Exercises to strengthen the paraspinal muscles may be helpful.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Probably: Spurs are indicative of degenerative disease and arthritis, which is unlikely to get better and is very likely to worsen, weight loss, physical therapy and exercise will help, but will not fix the issue. Your pain will likely worsen over time.

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Last updated Dec 3, 2018

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