What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is a major component of Degenerative Joint Disease. Both are defined by the gradual deterioration of the disc, bone and cartilage of the spine and both can cause pain, inflammation and severe health problems.

image of a happy woman stretchingAs we get older and our bodies begin to break down, the discs, made up of over 80% water, gradually shrink and dry out, becoming more and more rigid. If a person has had multiple accidents, has worked at a job that was harmful to the spine or didn’t drink enough water during their life, the problem can be heightened and progress more rapidly.

Initially, the cartilage of the discs and facet joints are the most affected, but with time, the end plates of the vertebrae will also begin to break down, professing to the entire vertebrae.

Why this progression? The discs are a vitally important component of the spine. When they aren’t doing their job, which is to protect the vertebrae and keep the spine flexible, the entire spine begins to degenerate.

Our bodies discs act like shock absorbers, cushioning the spine from the stress and trauma of everyday life. When you walk, run, bend and jump, the discs protect the spine and allow it to move freely. When you have an accident or other trauma to the body the discs do their best to protect the spine by absorbing the shock.

They also provide another essential service; they protect the delicate spinal nerves that connect our brains with our bodies. If the discs break down too much or begin to bulge or herniate the vertebrae will begin to put pressure on the nerves. This will cause pain and, with time, will also decrease the flow of information that passes from the brain to the body.  This can have extremely detrimental effects on the entire body and the person’s overall health.

Degenerative Disc Disease typically affects the low back and the neck, although it can occur anywhere in the spine. Many people who are in the beginning stages of DDD have no idea of the problem, because they have very few symptoms. However once trouble begins, it usually progress rapidly to episodic bouts of pain, stiffness, numbness and tingling. This may lead to chronic pain in the parts of the body that are closest to the affected spinal area.

image of degenerative disc diseaseNormally when the vertebrae are putting pressure on the nerves it is called a subluxation. However, the difference between a subluxation and DDD is substantial. When a person has a subluxation, the bones of the spine are misaligned and can put pressure on the spinal nerves. In most cases there isn’t any degeneration associated with subluxation and chiropractic care alone can take care of the problem. But with DDD, the pressure on the nerves is caused by the degenerated disc.

Chiropractic adjustments are likely to help, but in most cases an additional treatment specifically designed for the discs will also be necessary.

Our Garland chiropractic clinic offers this treatment; spinal decompression.  Spinal decompression is a remarkable treatment that takes the pressure off of the discs and allows them to heal. Like chiropractic it’s completely natural, non-invasive and drug-free.

Fortunately, injured discs can heal. Spinal decompression encourages this by taking the pressure of gravity off of them. When this happens they can re-hydrate and expand.

Another alternative is laser therapy, which can stimulate the natural healing process of the discs and joints. Like spinal decompression this will help the discs to heal as well as the surrounding muscle tissue and even the vertebrae.

The sooner that the disc condition is diagnosed and treatment begun, the better. If the condition is found early, they will heal much faster and be much stronger than if they have been degenerating for years and years.

If you’ve been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease,  a comprehensive treatment plan including chiropractic, spinal decompression and laser therapy is the most natural way to help the problem.

Contact our Garland Chiropractic Clinic today to learn if your a candidate for this all-natural treatment program. We offer a remarkable New Patient Spinal Decompression Special for new patients.

We are a complete wellness center and offer, chiropractic treatment, spinal decompression, rehab therapy, nutritional medicine and therapeutic massage.  We’ll help you get back on the road to better health.

 

Dr. James Mixon

About 

Dr. James Mixon is a Chiropractor in Garland, Tx. Through chiropractic care, he has helped thousands of patients overcome neck and back pain, mobility problems, herniated discs, and joint pain. By using Science Based Nutrition and customized nutrition programs, he has help many people improve their health to feel their best. You can reach Dr. Mixon at (972) 840-2520.