Degenerative disc disease occurs as people age, years of use, along with gravity and joint misalignment which cause the jelly-like discs between the vertebrae of the back to compress and literally dry out. It can happen to any disc in the spine, but it is most common in the lower back and neck. It causes chronic pain, often due to pinching of nerves due to the compression and lack of flexibility.
Degenerative disc disease, also known as spondylosis, can truly debilitate a person. But, fortunately, there’s often no need for surgery to repair the problem or an overload of drugs to mask the symptoms. Chiropractic treatment can often not only relieve the symptoms but correct the problem.
What happens to our Discs?
Let’s look at what actually happens when degenerative disc disease occurs.
As your discs are compressed, they can no longer get the vital oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. This is because there are no direct blood vessels to discs. They take in blood through the movement of blood around them, and compression limits that movement. Without enough blood, discs are more susceptible to injury because they can’t repair themselves.
The discs, which are made up of nearly 80 percent water, dry out. This causes the discs to actually shrink, which is why people often get shorter as they age. The upper body can actually shorten as the discs shrink. The drying out of the discs leads to stress on the discs, the discs no longer can act as the “cushions” they are intended for.
Small tears can easily occur when the discs begin to dry. When a tear occurs, a gel-like material (nucleus pulposus) leaks from the tear and impacts nerves. This is what’s known as a herniated disc. The inflammatory material that comes out of the disc can be inflammatory and often causes a great deal of pain.
Without the protection of the discs, the vertebrae can rub against each other, causing additional pain and possibly bone spurs to form.
And, even with no tearing of a disc, the compression between vertebrae can cause discs to become impinged. This, of course, causes pain, which can often be felt in places other than the back, such as down the leg, or buttocks.
Overcoming Degenerative Disc Disease with Zannetti Chiropractic
Zannetti Chiropractic clinic has helped 1000’s of patients overcome degenerative disc disease.
The principle behind chiropractic treatment of degenerative disc disease is simple—to return the joints to more normal motion through proper chiropractic adjustments. Good movement of the joints is critical to the health and nutrition of the discs because it allows for the exchange of nutrients and fluids, oxygen, and blood. Motion also helps prevent the formation of scar tissue, which can speed up the degenerative process.
Zannetti Chiropractic uses gentle thrusting techniques to return normal motion. This technique stretches out the soft tissue and stimulates the nervous system. For those for whom thrusting is a problem (the elderly), chiropractic doctors can use hand-held instruments to bring the necessary force without actually thrusting into the spine.
Chiropractors have many proven techniques to help relieve compression of the spine and to return patients to a normal, healthy lifestyle.