Degenerative Disc Disease
There are two primary types of spinal degeneration, degenerative disc disease (DDD) and degenerative joint disease (DJD), both can lead to pain and poor function. In the advanced stage, DDD causes the vertebrae to become closer together and consequently the intervertebral foramen – the holes where the nerves come out – become narrowed, compressing the nerves resulting in pain and dysfunction.
These diseases are considered an “age-related” condition by many in the healthcare field, however, that does not explain why we often see 30-year-old patients with lots of degeneration and 45-year-old patients with none. That is because the primary cause of spinal degeneration is a lack of motion within the spine in conjunction with poor posture and weak muscles. There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that you can not reverse these degenerated structures. The good news, however, is that you have the opportunity to slow it down significantly and potentially prevent it with a corrective chiropractic care plan.
With the advancement and wide usage of handheld devices like cell phones and iPads, current generations of children, adolescents, and young adults around the world are experiencing horrific changes in their cervical spines (necks). According to peer-reviewed literature, in an ideal posture, the trajectory of the neck should project back around -42° for proper function.
However, as younger and younger generations grow up with constantly flexed necks from looking down at their devices we are seeing curvatures completely reversed! This phenomenon is known as Tech Neck. Tech Neck increases the weight of the head causing abnormal stress loads on the spine that can lead to intolerable pain. It also accelerates the rate of joint degeneration and arthritis. Some recent research has shown this condition to lead to poor respiratory function and even a decrease in neural velocity due to the increased tension put on the spinal cord. That means the speed at which information travels to the brain is actually slower, which can have all kinds of negative implications. Chiropractors are trained to identify these conditions and prescribe a plan to correct them and provide Tech Neck relief.
A subluxation is a joint or series of joints within the spine that are either stuck or out of alignment causing significant stress on the nervous system. This stress manifests not only as pain and injury but also as a decrease in overall health and well-being.
The spine houses your spinal cord which is a collection of nerve tracts that descends from your brain and is distributed OUT THROUGH YOUR SPINE to every cell, tissue, joint, and organ in your body. In order for your brain to communicate with your vital organs, for example, there needs to be no interference with the nerves along the way. Our job as chiropractors is to remove any areas of this interference within the spine so that your body can heal and function to its highest potential.
Chiropractors are specialists in treating and correcting subluxations. We look for areas in the spine of improper motion or alignment that are depressing nervous system function. Subluxations can increase pressure on the nerves and increase the risk of injury and disease. Chiropractic adjustments are our most powerful tool to correct subluxations and re-establish motion and alignment in the spine. Prescription drugs may ease the symptoms of a subluxation temporarily, but no amount can correct this mechanical problem and lead to long-lasting pain relief and prevention.
Osteoarthritis is inflammation of a joint, very similar to degenerative joint disease. When the joints of the spine become stuck either from poor posture, adhesions, sedentary lifestyle, injury, or tight muscles, the joints become inflamed. This joint inflammation leads to the growth of bone spurs in and around the joints further limiting their articulations and compressing the spinal nerves. The good news is that this type of joint inflammation can be stopped if proper joint motion and stability are established as soon as possible. This is one of the primary focuses of chiropractic care.