Physical Therapy for degenerative disc disease

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Mobile Rehab provides in-home, outpatient Physical Therapy for seniors.



Covered by insurance

Locally owned and operated in North Carolina since 2004

What is degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a medical condition in which the intervertebral discs that cushion the spine begin to break down and degenerate over time. These discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, allowing for movement and flexibility in the spine.

As the discs degenerate, they become less effective at absorbing shock, and the space between the vertebrae may narrow. This can lead to compression of nerves in the spine and cause pain and discomfort.

DDD is a normal part of aging and is commonly seen in people over 50. However, it can also occur in younger individuals, particularly those who engage in heavy physical activity or have a genetic predisposition to the condition.

Symptoms of DDD may include pain in the back, neck, or limbs, as well as numbness or tingling sensations. In severe cases, DDD may require surgery to alleviate pressure on the nerves and restore mobility.

Treatment for DDD typically involves a combination of physical therapy, exercise, and pain management techniques such as medication and hot/cold therapy. Maintaining good posture and avoiding heavy lifting and prolonged sitting can also help alleviate symptoms of DDD.

What are the symptoms of degenerative disc disease?

The symptoms of degenerative disc disease (DDD) can vary depending on the location and severity of the degeneration, but the most common symptoms include:

  1. Pain: The most common symptom of DDD is pain in the back or neck. This pain can be dull, sharp, or throbbing and may be intermittent or constant. The pain can be exacerbated by movements that put pressure on the affected discs, such as bending or twisting.

  2. Numbness or tingling: As the degenerated discs compress nerves in the spine, individuals may experience numbness or tingling sensations in the limbs, fingers, or toes.

  3. Weakness: In some cases, DDD can cause weakness in the muscles of the limbs, making it difficult to perform everyday activities like walking, lifting, or standing for extended periods.

  4. Stiffness: DDD can cause stiffness in the back or neck, making it difficult to move the affected area.

  5. Reduced range of motion: As DDD progresses, individuals may experience a reduced range of motion in the back or neck, making it difficult to perform everyday activities.

It's important to note that DDD symptoms can be similar to other medical conditions, so it's important to see a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What causes degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is primarily caused by age-related wear and tear on the intervertebral discs that cushion the spine. As people age, the discs lose their elasticity and become less effective at absorbing shock. This can lead to the discs breaking down and degenerating, resulting in DDD.

In addition to age, there are several other factors that can contribute to the development of DDD, including:

  1. Genetics: Some people may be genetically predisposed to DDD, as there is evidence that certain genes may be associated with disc degeneration.

  2. Injury: Trauma or injury to the spine, such as a herniated disc or spinal fracture, can accelerate the degenerative process and lead to DDD.

  3. Repetitive motion: Repetitive motion or strain on the spine, such as heavy lifting or prolonged sitting, can also contribute to the development of DDD.

  4. Obesity: Excess weight places extra strain on the spine, which can contribute to the breakdown of the intervertebral discs.

  5. Smoking: Smoking has been linked to accelerated disc degeneration, as it reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach the discs.

  6. Poor posture: Poor posture can place extra stress on the spine and contribute to the development of DDD.

It's important to note that DDD is a normal part of aging and affects nearly everyone to some degree as they get older. However, certain lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, practicing good posture, and avoiding repetitive motions, can help slow the progression of DDD and reduce symptoms.

How can physical therapy help with degenerative disc disease?

Physical therapy can be a very effective treatment option for individuals with degenerative disc disease (DDD). A physical therapist can design an individualized exercise program to help alleviate pain, improve flexibility, and strengthen the muscles in the affected area. Here are some ways that physical therapy can help with DDD:

  1. Pain relief: Physical therapists can use a variety of techniques to help relieve pain, including massage, heat therapy, and electrical stimulation.

  2. Exercise: Specific exercises can help improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles in the affected area. These may include stretching exercises for the lower back and hamstrings, as well as exercises to strengthen the abdominal and gluteal muscles.

  3. Posture correction: Poor posture can contribute to DDD, so physical therapists can help correct posture to reduce pressure on the spine.

  4. Manual therapy: Manual therapy techniques such as joint mobilization and soft tissue mobilization can help reduce pain and improve mobility.

  5. Education: Physical therapists can educate patients on ways to prevent future episodes of DDD by teaching proper lifting and bending techniques and other exercises to maintain good posture and spinal health.

  6. Modalities: Physical therapists can also use modalities such as ultrasound, traction, or cold laser to relieve pain and improve circulation.

It's important to note that the type and duration of physical therapy will depend on the severity and cause of the DDD, and a physical therapist will work with the patient to develop a personalized treatment plan. Overall, physical therapy can help reduce pain, improve flexibility, and prevent future episodes of DDD.

Frequently asked questions

Patients trust Mobile Rehab

The physical therapist came to our house and carefully reviewed our case. He designed therapies and strategies that have worked well for us. For example, my husband could not get off the floor by himself and I could not lift him when he fell. Together we learned techniques to cope with this situation in our home. Joshua designed fun and effective exercises to improve strength and flexibility. My husband can now get in and out of chairs and cars without help and walks more easily. Since we used equipment in and around the home, my husband can remember and apply what he has learned. Mobile Rehab accepted our insurance and worked out approval to provide services. We did not need a referral from our doctor. My husband and I highly recommend Mobile Rehab if you or a loved one needs physical therapy.Jerry from Pittsboro
I wanted to tell you how much better I think Mom is since starting your PT. She has been less off balance, quicker to equilibrate to standing, and has had more stamina. I also think she is less depressed and feels more accomplished. Josh has been prompt and polite, as well as engaging in conversation to make Mom feel at ease. Thank you!Karen Pool - Google Review
In my many years of experience with PT for a variety of injuries, I have never worked with a therapist as knowledgeable, energetic, patient, and committed to my recovery and health as Celeste. She is interested in the cause of the problem and finding solutions, rather than only dealing with superficial symptoms. The manual work she does always leaves me feeling better and the exercises/stretches she has taught me target exactly where the problems lie. I can tell that I’m noticeably stronger and more flexible because of them. Anyone who gets to work with Celeste is lucky indeed! Judy R - 72 years young 😉
Both my husband and I are working with Amy, a PT for Mobile Rehab. She has been helping me after knee replacement surgery, and is working with my husband with balance, strengthening and walking. She is a gem! She is enthusiastic, engaging, and always positive. I would gladly recommend Amy and Mobile Rehab to anyone who needs physical therapy!Mona Harrison - Google Review
Oh my goodness, I cannot say enough good things about my therapist, Jennifer. After having a complete shoulder replacement and being discharged by my doctor, he recommended that I could still need therapy to help get me back to “normal”. My friend in Asheville recommended Jennifer to me. I set up an appointment and Jen showed up, right on time, at my apartment with her folding table in tow. She was so knowledgeable about how my shoulder worked, the muscles, tendons and the rotator cuff. After working on the painful spots I complained about, she set up a plan to work out the stiffness and soreness. Now, after 2 visits per week for four weeks, I feel like a new woman. At her last visit, she gave me the coping skills I needed to keep my shoulder in good shape. I am so impressed with her work that I recommend her highly as my most favored therapist.Jane Cumby - Google Review
Deb's professional manner is greatly appreciated as she continues to help me maintain my mobility with a variety of exercises and movements. Her positive attitude during my sessions gives me a sense of well-being.Nancy C. - Google Review
Erin Rankin and Cheryl Reid are skilled physical therapists. As a Parkinson's patient, I have benefited greatly from their expertise. I feel that by keeping my muscles stretched, I have contributed to my current state of mobility. If they are going to be a few minutes late, they are thoughtful and considerate by sending a text to me. When scheduling appointments, efforts are made to accommodate my specific timing needs. Due to the longevity of our relationships, levels of trust have been built. Their pleasant personalities add to the care they give. I look forward to seeing them each week. Nancy C - Google Review
note from patient
The therapist from Mobile Rehab has been fantastic and very helpful to me. She clearly is the best PT I have ever had.Laureen F of Chapel Hill
Each time a PT moves on we think no one could be as good and them amazingly they seem to be even better. Have used for years and always with great satisfactionSue Clark - Google Review
I have been so impressed with Mobile Rehab. I've been working with Lacey K. DPT. post-op for a knee replacement. She is extremely professional, answers all of my questions and it seems not to bother her if I ask the same question again! She works me hard and that's what I need. She'll tell me either I'm doing it right or will correct me in a very calm and pleasant manner. Lacey explains everything I'm doing and why. I can't say enough good things about Mobile Rehab especially Lacey!Mary Beth Bryman - Google Review

Use your insurance or pay privately



$0 per visit

Many Medicare plans with a supplement policy will cover all of our fees.

Commercial Insurance

Same as a clinic

Pay the same copay as if you went to a clinic for therapy. We accept many major insurances and will verify your benefits before starting.

Private Pay


Easy payment options available.


  • Contact Us by Phone, Email, or Fax

    We’ll help you check your insurance benefits. You do not need to be homebound and you should not be currently receiving any other physical therapy or skilled nursing services in the home.

  • Schedule an Evaluation

    We will match you with a therapist and have them contact you to plan a date, time and location that works best for you.

  • It’s That Easy!

    We make it simple to get the care you need… and exceed your expectations while doing so.



Mobile Rehab in home physical therapy

Fall Prevention

We provide research-based, individualized fall prevention interventions that have been shown to greatly reduce your risk of falling and injuries, including the OTAGO fall prevention program.

Click here to
learn more about OTAGO

Mobile Rehab in home physical therapy

General Rehab

Avoid driving to a clinic and get the individualized care you deserve. We work with many conditions ranging from post-stroke, Parkinson’s, vertigo to rotator cuff dysfunction and much more. Contact us for details.

Mobile Rehab in home physical therapy

After Home Health

We can improve care continuity by providing in home therapy even after you have been discharged by a Home Health agency. Avoid the hassle of driving and continue to make progress towards your goals.

Mobile Rehab in home physical therapy

Strength and Conditioning

We can help you improve your strength, mobility, range of motion, or any other functional limitations that impair your daily activity.

Mobile Rehab in home physical therapy

Pain Relief

We develop individualized care plans to help manage your aches and pains through exercise and hands-on techniques.