Ask A Pro


I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I love to get outdoors and garden, but I hate the back pain I get each year. I'm worried because x-rays show I have disc degeneration and arthritis in my back. I'm 55 years old and don't want to ruin my body, but don't want to give up doing what I love! What should I do?


I love your desire to be active this summer! The good news is your imaging results are normal; 80% of people 50 years old have "disc degeneration" seen in imaging even with out experiencing back pain (Brinjikji, et al; 2014 AmJ Neuroradial). It would be abnormal if you didn't have these findings! Arthritis of your joints is just like wrinkles on your body, everybody gets it. The best thing you can do is keep moving in a strategic way.

Start by deciding on an acceptable pain level and then determine how long you can work before your pain increases to that level. Limit your activity to that time, gradually adding five minutes every few sessions. While gardening, try out different positions and don't stay in any one of them for to o long. Just like how you rotate your tires on your car, do the same with your body positions! For more tips on how to "rotate your tires" while gardening, watch our educational video, "Corvallis Sport and Spine Healthy Living".

If you'd like to address your pain directly, call us at (541) 752-0545 and schedule an initial evaluation with a Physical Therapist. Most insurance plans do not require you to have a referral to see your Physical Therapist. We are the movement and pain relief experts here to help you! Happy gardening and outdoor playing this summer!
21-1 NW Profesional Dr. Suite 2
Corvallis • Phone (541) 752-0545