Re: Severe degenerative disc disease
Petrina - so sorry you are dealing with this degenerative disk disorder - and you are so young! I have similar pain that refers from my neck, plus it also refers down my arms at times. Although it cannot take away the pain, I wanted to suggest some very mild exercises that might help a bit. You may wish to have your doctor refer you to a physiotherapist who will show you exactly how to do them, but I will tell you generally. When you have to sit for long hours at a keyboard, every 30 minutes or so, stop, get up, roll your shoulders a few times, stretch up and sideways to release your arms, and if you are able, bend you neck to the sides (not back) and hold for a few seconds. If any of those cause you more pain, then stop immediately. If you wish or need to continue working, you will need to keep as limber as possible - holding the same pose for long periods will definitely hurt, and possibly develop into chronic pain, so I encourage you to have someone show you how to stretch and loosen up those muscles that may knot up on you. Massage therapy can help too, if that is possible.
I hope you find some help for your pain,
Wishing you peace and comfort,