Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

By the power of Grayskull! Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo, and me and
my grayskull kitty are going to show you some stretches and exercises for
degenerative disc disease for the low back So let’s get started. Sometimes you might also just see it
called DDD which is a lot easier to say as you can tell, since i have a hard time
saying it sometimes. Let’s start off a lying down on our backs
and propping up our knees. And you’re just going to start off with a simple
pelvic tilt. So with the pelvic tilt, you want to basically imagine that
somebody’s got their hands underneath your back and you’re pushing down into
those hands. So you’re tilting that pelvis. So just a tilt, a little hold, about
three seconds, and then relax so you should actually see the movement there.
If you’re just kind of doing this that’s not exactly doing a public tilt.
You want to actually see that pelvis tilting and flattening out that back. So
just start off holding it three seconds, do about 10 of those. Then you’re going
to actually go up into a bridge. So this time, the whole hips come all the way up.
So nice and slow and then slowly come down almost one segment at a time. So
really kind of loosening up those discs in there. So up and then nice and slow
coming down. So again to start off with about 10 of these, and if that becomes
easy, you can work your way up from there. Then you’re going to go into some
stretches. So you want to stretch your hamstrings. You can do that whole bunch
of different ways I have a hamstring stretching video, but the easiest one is
to take a strap, if you have one, a belt, a dog leash, or a kitty leash if you have
one of those, straighten out your leg and then use the strap to pull it up. So you
want the leg to stay nice and straight at the knee. So if the knee’s bending,
you’re pulling too hard. So make sure it’s straight. You can bend this side, some people keep it straight out, but
I think it comes to take some pressure off of that back. And pull it up as far
as you comfortably can, keeping that knee straight, hold it for about 30 seconds,
and then do three of those. Then you’re going to go into a piriformis or glute
stretch. So it’s a figure 4. Take the leg of the side you want to stretch,
cross your ankle over at the top of the thigh. The knee’s up this way. Take your hands and grab underneath and
pull up towards you. And you should kind of feel that stretch in your bottom area,
maybe a little bit the side of the hip. And pull it as far as you comfortably
can, and hold that for 30 seconds relax, and do that one 3 times as well. Then
you’re going to stretch your hip flexors and your quad muscles. So with the hip
flexors and the quads, you there’s also a whole bunch of different stretches you
can do for those, but I like just kind of coming up this way onto your knees. Now
if you have pain in your knees as well, make sure you put a pillow underneath.
And then just kind of come up into a lunge position. For the quad stretch,
you’re going to grab your leg, your ankle, back here and pull it towards your
bottom. So just holding that for about 30 seconds and then coming back down. For
the hip flexor stretch, you’re going to bring your hips forward, driving them
forward this way, and you should feel the stretch in through here. And that’s kind
of loosening up that whole pelvis area so it’s not putting pressure on the
spine. So again try try to keep your upper body straight up, not lean forward
because that’s going to take away from the stretch. And then lean forward
holding that for 30 seconds, doing that three times. Then the last couple ones
exercises are going to be on the all four position, or we call it quadruped.
Try to keep your weight level on each leg and arm, and then just take one leg at a
time, and kick back, and then slowly come back in. Try not to lean over a whole lot
to the other side, try to keep yourself level. Keep those arms pretty
much straight underneath the shoulders and kick back about. Do ten on one side, and
then kick with the other side, 10 on that side as well. And then the
last one, still in the quadruped position, do a camel stretch. And then you
can kind of alternate between cat/camel some people called Cat/Dog some people
call cow, dog, cat, all those animals. But basically you’re going to arch your back
up, kind of in that Camel position, tuck your chin in, take a deep breath, and
then come back down and lift your chin up kind of letting your back leg down
just a little bit. And then you can just hold it for about three to five seconds
in each position, and do five to 10 of those. So just going to where you feel a
little bit of a stretch, not where it’s super uncomfortable. So there you have it. Me and grayskull kitty showing you the
stretches and exercises for DDD. If you have any questions leave them in the comments
section. If you’d like to check out some other videos, go to And remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

75 Replies to “Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Thanks a lot for yr videos, they help me a lot, would it be possible to do a video for the legs , to improve them, especially for the inner part. Thanks again

  2. I have MS 🙁
    every morning I have difficulty walking bcoz of d spasticity. Doing too much can make me running out of energy. Any ez stretches without equipment I can do for the spasticity & maintaining energy level? Thank doc :-*

  3. great video doctor jo! I have a degenerative disc in my back from barbell squatting although i lost weight and my back hasn't bothered me, I went from 165lbs to 150lbs lol im not heavy but i see it makes a difference with me. is this common?

  4. I knows little English.sorry you understand. l have degeneration ,herniation and bulg disk at l5-s1.please,tell me which kind of exercises l doing?

  5. doctor i have right leg backside up to down hill pain what i do i Don't know…nigh sleep also problem because right bump also pain

  6. Thank you so much for this! I was just recently diagnosed with DDD when I thought it was just sciatica that wouldn't go away. I have been taking tons of motrin, which I know isn't good, but it was the only way I could function.
    I know now that also the constant sitting has been aggravating it. I now get up and walk around for a minute or so every half hour. That has helped a lot.
    Will be working out this afternoon and doing this first. Again, thanks.

  7. Im 53 and having to combine alot videos working all the muscles i got spondiosis. osteoporosis. but done a number on self. I. fractured by hip and L5 with s1 and had broke my tailbone. i got lupus so they said tht might be why im so slow healing but My PT ended here at home but im still loyal about doing it. Thank you n god bless

  8. hiya, ive had DDD for 8 yrs now. painkillers coming out my ears but nothing really touches it. Had Epidural…did nothing. Tried hypo tension…think surgery is the only way and get my L4/L5 fused.

  9. Hi Dr Joe ! I like your enthusiasm, but why do I think you have been in a forest somewhere either pretending to be a dragon or a princess, but I digress.  I am most interested in DDD, but are your general " lower back pain flexion stretches" also good for DDD.  Every other DDD video I have watched included the one and two leg knee stretch to chest.( Like your 7:08 length video from June 21, 2012) Can DDD sufferers use those two stretches ? Thanks

  10. Hi are there any other exercises that can be done not on your knees besides the pelvic tilt and hamstring stretch? Thanks

  11. Hi Dr. Jo! I have osteoarthritis and have had one surgery two years ago on one lumbar disc. The doctor just filled in it I think…had a pinched nerve for a year and a half. Never took any pain meds and worked every day….just took generic Excedrin. That nerve didn't calm down for a year but I hung in there. I have 5 other areas in my spine that aren't looking great. Fell on my bottom and that caused the first injury and eventual surgery. Anyway 10 days ago I fell from a chair on to my back. I am 66 and not overweight and otherwise in pretty good shape, I fell on the lowest part of my back close to the tail bone. Man it hurt worse than the other one by far. But….nothing was broken and I do have a regular office visit with my doctor in September. Meantime I was given at a clinic just something for inflammation. The Pain is mostly in the left buttock but so far nothing hurts down my legs…I have had sciatica before also. I didn't land on my back the entire impact was lower. When I fell last time it was several weeks before the nerve started to hurt. Should I wait on these exercises? I'm using ice and heat. My fear is that I just may have done something to a vertebrae and won't know for awhile.I Googled a lot of stuff and think perhaps the muscles are bruised for all I know. Thanks!

  12. Dr jo you are great lady , i m 28 years old i 've disk herniation from last 2 years i' ve great broblem in sitting plz tel me something for betterment.

  13. dear mam.
    im an aspiring seafarer and im just scared if ever i will be going to board the ship. thats why im searching for different exercises. my question mam is it that too necessary to the said stretches just to relieve the pain mam? or you can do it even though you have no pain at all? ty in adv.

  14. Thanks Doc It was great, I have got DDD(L5-S1) for 3 years and I have numbness, burning and tingling  at both  sides of my tights and a lot lower pain back it has been disaster,  even an injection could  not help me. Can I ask how much to loss the weight can be helpful for that situation? I have lost 16 kg and  now I am 70Kg with 1.76 meter tall. Thanks again.

  15. Hello mam, i was a gym enthusiast from one year and 3 months back i hurt my back because of deadlift. The incident dehydrated my disc between L4 and L5. Apart from these exercises, what else should i do? And will i be able to go gym again?

  16. I've had DDD for 6 years now and been dealing with it naturally. I have a lot of issue with my right leg all the way to my toes. I've done so much research to get my stretch routine that I use now. I wish I found your video 3 years ago because it's spot on. Your awesome. Thank you for not charging people for this info. It took me a year to find the stretch that everyone said would "unlock your hips and cure your back pain" they all want you buy a book or a video. You showed it all for free. God bless you.

  17. I have extruded disc at l5 level. Last 3 months ago have lot of pain. That Time I taking ultrasound and TENS therapy . After taking this type of treatment pain has to be reduce 90% . At present my pain level is 0 to 2 level. I doing exercises 3 time a day. Can it heal permanently? If I doing exercises deliy can It recurre?

  18. I have ddd in my back from spinal injury and scoliosis surgery. And my hip hurts soooo bad sometimes. And can't sleep on it sometimes.

  19. Thank you for the information. Would stem cells for DDD and in the facet joints L5-S1 fix this problem? RF ablations are temporary and only put a bandaid on a wound.

  20. The information is excellent. my back pain dates back ten years!! i am suffering with pain right now. i recently went to a physical therapist, had x-rays and he said to me i have DDD!! i feel great agony. its hard to do anything at all. i've had to quit my job because the pain was so bad.😢 but i've noticed that i've been feeling lightheaded, weak and numb in both legs. that started to scare me so i went back to the therapist and he referred me to pain management saying that i might have to have injections or worst surgery😰. But they can't tell for sure what's really the cause of my lower back pain without. an M.R.I. My pain management appt is not until may 3rd but i have been suffering every single day even hospitalized more then once. Hell i might go again tomorrow if it increases. Because I've tried everything. From medicine to exercise and all the above stretching and decompression movements you show here. Im really angry but scared at the same time. My question to you is, is there anything that i can do to avoid these painful injections or worst surgery? physical therapy doesn't seem to work and all my m.r.i request have all been turned down because of my Medicaid insurance.

  21. Have done all of these. Not too much back pain. I just can’t get the sciatica to go away. Worst pain I’ve ever felt and nothing takes the pain away

  22. U r awsm doctor jo tnxx for all relief exercise. ur all video are best hope see more new video tnxxxxx alot

  23. Sorry to bother you again but does degenerative disc disease causes thoracic kyphosis…..?
    Waiting for ur reply….

  24. Can u please suggest me how to get rid of it through thoracic kyphosis exercises or stretch……
    Since I'm feeling suffocated…

  25. Does DDD & thoracic kyphosis can be detected in MRI scan….
    What should I go for CT scan or MRI scan….Which is more better….

  26. Sorry to bother you again Doc I am feeling like Scheuermann's kyphosis I have seen the symptoms….. does it causes nerve compression in the neck or vice versa….Can you tell me… Please….

  27. I got diagnosed today after 14months of pain and back swelling. I have the worst hamstrings they are so tight and i absolutely hate stretching them its so uncomfortable but iv got to start doing these stretches i will do whatever it takes to relieve my back pain. Thanks for your video it was very helpful and you are very good looking too ( just thought id throw that in there lol ). Seriously though, thanks.

  28. I am 42, male, have DDD which got detected about 12 years ago, which got detected by my second MRI. I also had lamenectomy about 19 years ago based on my first MRI which did not mention DDD.

    Was the DDD caused by the laminectomy operation ? ( which resolved the issue of spinal stenosis, but a chronic numbing mild back pain is still present most of the times )

    Is DDD reversible , if not completely, to some extent by proper diet, posture and exercise ? Have you seen any evidence in comparing consecutive MRIs of any patient?

    Thanks for the instructive videos. You are doing a good job.

  29. Damn . This helped instantly after doing a few stretches . I've only just been diagnosed with ddd. But I notice results straight after . Thank you

  30. What if there is way too much pain for exercises, and the person cant even walk upright. What would you suggest please ?

  31. You're nuts! I think we're related. I've dealt with all sorts of symptoms in my lower back for many years. I finally got to where I couldn't stand it any longer and saw a doctor about it. My MRI results came back this morning. I have the DDD in my neck and my lower back. My neck is mild but the nurse basically said my lower back was shot. She recommended shots, physical therapy and retiring, in that order. UGH!!! I do some of these exercises from a standing position but really struggle to do the glute stretch from any position. I've been doing it standing with the incline bench next to me as a support, but I'm not able to lower down low enough to get a good stretch. I've tried it laying down too but can't seem to get hold of my lower leg to pull it up. I'll keep working on it and I'm going to try some of these stretches from the lying position to see if I can get a deeper stretch out of them. Thanks for posting.

  32. Hi Dr Jo, I am 50 yrs old , Male, Found from MRI Report – Disc Degeneration and left paracentral disc extrusion L5/S1level causing compression of left S1 nerve root. Narrowing of left lateral recess.
    Disc bulges L3/4 and L4/5 levels indenting the thecal sac without any nerve root compression.
    What to do? please advise…

  33. Thank you for the video, it helped! Some of these are not possible for me yet as the pain is too much but I think this video is good for once pain is manageable 🙂

  34. Hello I am not sure if there are different levels or degrees of DDD, but mine is severe. I can not walk in a store for more than 7-8 mins before the pain is so intense I have to find a seat. Washing more than a few dishes, same thing. I have been taking muscle relaxers, and my doctor is talking about surgery as a option. I really dont want that to be a choice. But it does get pretty severe.

  35. Hi Dr, good morning. While doing these exercises, I feel lot of pain. It hurts me, should I keep doing exercise or I should stop? I have pain in my left side back, buttock and leg. My one disc is bulg and I am unable to stand up immediately after sitting. Please advise me. Thank you. God bless you Dr.

  36. So MRI said yes this No the rest of life ?? Im 77 Ha Ha But Yes Ill do it I suposed when I feel ok you can stop Is Wrong This 2 to 3 times a week ?? Thanks Doc Namaste

  37. I’ve been having a lot of back pain, and my doctor did some tests and diagnosed me with DDD.. I’m only 15. It’s hereditary, but my doctor was still surprised that I got it so young. 🙁

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