Degenerative Disc Disease - Conditions Treated at CORE Chiropractic

Get Help For Degenerative Disc Disease With Chiropractic Care, Spinal Decompression Therapy, & PEMF Therapy

A degenerative disc is often considered a condition that mainly affects older adults. This is not entirely true. Degeneration just gets worse with time and older adults just have had more time to degenerate. The degenerative process has been found in ages as young as adolescents and teens. It's the process of your discs decaying and or dehydrating over time from immobility, injury, or repetitive traumas that damage the discs such as some normal daily activities and sports/athletic activities. 

If you've been told by your doctor that you have degenerative disc disease, he or she is telling you that your discs have worn out from the stressors you’ve endured throughout your life and they have started to decay. Degenerative disc disease is an aspect of osteoarthritis of the spine.  This is not the end of the world. The majority of the people on this planet are dealing with some type of degeneration. Below we will explain in more detail the things associated with having degenerative disc disease and how you can help manage this condition.  

How Do You Get Degenerative Disc Disease?

The disc are the structures that lay between the bones in the spine. They are made up of strong ring layered cartilage on the outside and a gelatinous material on the inside. Their job is to absorb the shock that is put into your spine during your everyday activities. That being said, every trauma down the every step you’ve taken has sent a shock that was absorbed by these discs. Over time, these discs start to wear and tear due to the life long amount of pressure you’ve put into them.

Disc degeneration occurs in everyone. There are stages of decay ranging from 1 to 3 with 3 being the worst. Not only is the pain worse with the later stages, it's also harder to get rid of the symptoms. 

Stage 1: 

Begins with a loss of normal curvature in the spine that caused the disc spaces to narrow and the beginning stages of stiffness. Usually there isn’t much pain associated with stage 1, and if there is, it comes and goes. A lot of people mistake this discomfort for muscle tightness or stress. 

Stage 2: 

When stage one is ignored, the discs start to degenerate and become more stiff creating a decrease in function. At this level, dehydration is occurring and the bones start to get involved by reshaping and building bone spurs to help stabilize the degenerated disc. Pain levels become more frequent and the usual at home pain relieving treatments don’t work as well as they used to. 

Stage 3: 

At this point you have neglected this problem and now more permanent changes have been made in your spine. A disc can degenerate to the point to where it's bone on bone. Your normal range of motion can be gone forever and the damage is irreversible. No one wants to be associated with this phase. The treatment options become more drastic if the pain is severe. Conservative care is possible to manage but full recovery is likely unattainable.

Degenerative disc disease is one of those conditions that is very hard to avoid. According to one website, states that 30% of people show evidence of a degenerative disc by the age of 35 and more than 90% show evidence by the age of 60. 

Degenerative Disc Disease Affects Nearly Every Part Of The Population

  • The office worker working their normal desk job who sits for hours upon hours each day for years and years will begin to show symptoms from inactivity due to prolonged sitting. 
  • The athlete who has the best fitness on the planet will create damage to their disc from the heavy weights lifted and the abuse he or she will sustain while competing in athletic competition. 
  • The nurse who runs 3-5 miles, 3-5 days per week, who also has to help to lift patients who are too hurt to help themselves, she degenerates overtime due to repetitive stressors from her daily activities. 
  • The student who looks down constantly when writing notes, reading books, and working on their laptops. Not to mention the countless hours looking at their phone. This child or young adult wears out their discs from looking down for the majority of the day. 
  • The commuter who has been involved in a couple of accidents over the last 5-10 years. 

All of these everyday activities cause the disc in the spine to become worn and it starts to deteriorate and eventually start to cause discomfort that comes and goes and a reduction in function that gradually gets worse over time.

How Does Someone With Degenerative Disc Disease Usually Feel? What Are The Common Symptoms?

The symptoms people can feel from degenerative discs can range from mild aches and stiffness to severe, disabling pain. Common areas affected are typically  the neck and lower back. The pain usually comes and goes initially  and over time becomes more severe and more frequent.  Flare ups can occur often. Pain is common when setting for prolonged periods, bending, lifting, or twisting. Pain and other symptoms such as numbness and tingling can shoot down or radiate down the arms from the neck and down into the buttocks and legs from the low back. The pain is described as dull, achy and sometimes sharp when there is a flare up.

Can Chiropractic Help? How?

Chiropractic adjustments are a sought treatment for degenerative disc disease. Chiropractic care can help by increasing the motion/function, realigning the joint to remove the damaging pressure, and decreasing pain and stiffness. With chiropractic care, improving posture while attaining and maintaining healthy joint motion can slow down the degenerative process. According to this article, a firefighter with chronic low back pain and a damaged disc had improvement with chiropractic care.

Why Is PEMF Therapy The "Go To" Treatment For Degenerative Disc Disease?

PEMF, or pulsed electromagnetic field, is a source of energy that helps the body repair/regenerate/rebuild naturally, enhancing the functionality of the body's cells. Imagine your body as a battery, daily stressors and chronic conditions, such as degenerative disc disease,  slowly drain your body of its energy to function and heal at its best. That’s where PEMF technology comes in! PEMF therapy is like re-energizing your internal battery. To function optimally the energy needs to be restored.

Why Is Spinal Decompression Therapy A Great Treatment For Degenerative Disc Disease?

Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy can help to alleviate pressure causing degeneration to the discs. Our spinal decompression unit not only pulls the spine straight down, but has the ability to pull to the side. This allows us to open up the spinal joint and disc on the either side that is creating the most pressure. This is an option not available on other spinal decompression units.

What Can You Do At Home To Help?

Degenerative disc disease is a condition that gets worse overtime if you are not proactively dealing with it on a daily basis. Proactivity means doing certain activities such as rehab/physical therapy exercises and modifying your daily bad habits even when it's not bothering you. Stop smoking, stop slouching, eating healthy, etc. If the degenerative areas flare-up, try using ice and heat therapy to help decrease pain until you can get in to see your chiropractor. 

Degenerative Disc Disease doesn’t mean you are doomed to a life of pain and poor health. 

Let CORE Chiropractic help you get back on track with personalized chiropractic care, spinal decompression and a custom treatment plan. Call today for your consultation, or schedule an appointment.

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