Spine & Disc Degeneration
Your spinal bones begin to deform; your discs swell, then shrink;
your ligaments, tendons and muscles begin to harden and weaken;
and your entire spinal column loses its balance, flexibility, stability
and strength. What is happening? Your spine is degenerating.
Spinal degeneration is often caused by long-standing stress.
Along with the bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles, your
nerves, body chemistry and internal organs can also be affected.
Spinal degeneration leads to less overall ability to adapt to the
pressures of life; you lose the spring to your step, and the youth
in your being. You also lose your height.
What Causes Spinal Degeneration?
Spinal degeneration is usually caused by years of longstanding vertebral subluxations in your spine. What are vertebral subluxations?
Day-to-day stress can cause your spine’s many complex parts
(intervertebral discs, ligaments, tendons and the very bone itself)
to deteriorate. Stress often causes the spinal vertebrae to shift
from their proper places, or become misaligned and irritate
the surrounding nerves, bones, discs, ligaments and other soft
tissues. This serious spinal condition is called a vertebral
subluxation complex. Subluxations, often painless, are common;
they are a hidden epidemic. Spinal Decay Spinal degeneration is like tooth decay (often a painless process) that by the time a person notices its effects or feels any pain has been going on for many years!
The Phases Of Degeneration Your spine degenerates in stages or phases:
The Chiropractic Approach
- Degeneration Phase 1:
First your spine loses its normal balance. There may be a loss
of nomal spinal curves. Your nerves may be affected and the
vital life energy that flows over them is interfered with. Also
your joints, discs, nerves and posture are stressed and age
more quickly. Surprisingly, there may be no pain other than
occasional minor discomfort. Also present may be a slight
lessening of energy and slight height loss. Response to spinal care is generally good.
- Degeneration Phase 2:
Here there is a much greater degree of decay, disc narrowing
and bone spurs (deformations); postural changes are much
worse. This condition is very common (by age 40, 80% of
males and 76% of females exhibit moderate disc degeneration) Spinal canal narrowing or stenosis may occur. This phase is characterized by more common aches and pains, fatigue and a diminished ability to cope with stress. Height continues to decrease. With chiropractic care significant improvement is possible.
- Degeneration Phase 3:
Here there are more postural imbalances, increased
nerve damage, permanent scar tissue and advanced bone
deformation. Physical and/or mental weakness or disability
begin. Also found in this phase are permanent loss of height
and loss of energy. With care some reversal is possible.
- Degeneration Phase 4:
This is the most advanced stage of subluxation degeneration. The
postural imbalance is severe and motion is limited. There is severe
nerve damage, permanent scar tissue is formed and the bones
may begin to fuse. In this phase we find pain, various degrees of
physical or mental disability, and continued loss of energy and
height. By now the condition is considered irreversible, although
chiropractic may give some symptomatic relief.
You need not sit and passively watch your spine degenerate. Chiropractic can reduce, halt and may even reverse spinal degeneration by improving spinal balance and posture and keeping your joints, nerves and discs healthy and strong throughout your Lifetime.
The restoration of motion to a previously [fixated] joint leads to a restoration of normal joint function and physiology.
Further, there is increasing evidence that some spinal degeneration may he reversible.
Correction of a vertebral subluxation can not only
attenuate and arrest this degenerative process. but can
actually allow the condition to reverse itself.