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Q. I have degenerative disc disease with spurs in my back and neck. Do you think I'll be in much pain the older I get?
A. Not necessarily. The idea of "degeneration" gives an image that the bones of the spine are pretty much falling apart. Actually, changes in your spine are a common part of the aging process. Sometimes spurs can lead to more pain, but there is no guarantee that pain will happen. Some people who show spurs on x-ray have pain, but others do not. An exercise program focusing on mobility, strength, and good posture and body movement, can help you prevent future problems. Also, the aging process itself can help stop pain. Aging tissues lose water content and become generally stiffer. Structures that do not move do not usually cause pain. The best advice is to keep active, exercise regularly, and see your doctor if you have pain or difficulty that you cannot manage yourself.