5 exercises people with degenerative disc disease should avoid

People with degenerative disc disease (DDD) should do low-impact exercises that help strengthen the muscles around the spine without pain


High-impact exercises

Activities like running or jumping can worsen the symptoms of DDD

Alternative: Walking 

Walking is an excellent low-impact activity that boosts cardiovascular health without straining the spine

Lifting heavy weights can compress the spine and worsen the condition. Avoid exercises like deadlifts and overhead presses


Heavy lifting

Exercises  like free squats, lunges and modified push-ups build strength without compromising the spine

Alternative: Bodyweight exercises

These load the lumbar spine, leading to discomfort and injuries over time

Sit-ups and crunches


Planks are effective in strengthening the core and reducing lower back pain

Alternative: Planks

Sports like basketball and football demand repetitive or sudden lateral and transverse movements that strain the spine

High-impact sports


Swimming is a low-impact, full-body exercise that comes with cardiovascular benefits. Start with small laps and stop if you experience pain 

Alternative: Swimming

These exercises can strain the lower back and aggravate the symptoms of DDD

Toe-touching stretches


This can help release tension in the lower back without straining the spine

Alternative: Knee-to-chest stretch

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