Many people suffer from Degenerative Disc Disease and don’t even realize it. Degenerative Disc Disease can cause spinal pain, stiffness and loss of mobility. Less often it can cause symptoms (pain, numbness, tingling) into an arm or a leg. For many it comes as a surprise when they are told that they suffer from spinal disc degeneration.
The spinal column is made up of vertebrae that are stacked, one on top of the other, much like a stack of toy blocks. Sitting in between the vertebrae are tough leather-like ‘cushions’ called discs that act as a shock-absorber for the spine. Significantly, the size of the opening that allows the nerves to go away – or exit – from the spine into various parts of the body is dependent upon the thickness of the discs. If the disc becomes thinner, then the opening where the nerves exit the spine becomes narrower.
What would cause a disc to degenerate? The most usual answer is TRAUMA. Most people begin with a relatively minor injury; they were in a minor car injury many years ago or perhaps they suffered a fall from a horse or some other such injury but they are quick to declare that they “weren’t hurt”. For some it’s a major injury and they know exactly when it began. Either way, it really doesn’t matter since the process of degeneration for both types of injuries is the same; the trauma causes a loss of the movement of the segment (which is part of the definition of a subluxation or mis-alignment) and, in turn, the disc receives continued long term damage as a result of the added stress of the spinal joints above it and below it not working appropriately. As time goes on the disc begins to degenerate causing a ‘domino’ cascade of effects on the spinal joints, the muscles, ligaments and tendons. It’s not unusual to see bone spurs hanging off the edges of the vertebrae with degenerative disc disease.
It goes without saying that the sooner you can restore normal alignment of the vertebrae along with normal joint mobility the less continued trauma to the discs – and hopefully the less degeneration. The worst part about degenerative disc disorder is that it can go for years without showing any symptoms at all – and by the time you do begin to experience symptoms in many cases the degeneration is well advanced. Don’t let this happen to you or a loved one.
Don't hesitate! Call the doctors at Realief Chiropractic today. 803-807-9960.