Degenerative Disc Disease in Madison, OH
A diagnosis of degenerative disc disease may sound alarming, but, in fact, the condition is largely a natural part of aging. At French Chiropractic and Wellness Center, we help the residents of Painesville, Mentor and surrounding communities in Ohio understand degenerative disc disease so they can undergo safe and effective treatment.
What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
The use of the word “disease” in degenerative disc disease is misleading. In actuality, the “disease” is merely the natural changes that most often occur in the vertebrae as people age and their spinal muscles decondition. The discs that make up the spinal column need to remain soft and flexible so that bending, flexing, and twisting the spine can be done fluidly as the spine moves. Most often changes to the spine caused by age and deconditioning are most prominent in the lumbar region (the lower back), and the cervical region (the neck.)
Changes to the discs can lead to a number of other problems, such as
- Pain in the back or neck
- Herniated discs (this occurs when the disc bulges, or splits apart)
- Osteoarthritis ( a form of arthritis that affects the cartilage between discs along the spinal column)
- Spinal Stenosis (occurs when the spinal canal narrows, constricting the spinal cord)
- Nerve damage (this can occur if degenerative disc disease goes untreated and leads to any of the above conditions)
What Causes Degenerative Disc Disease?
The process of aging/deconditioning naturally begins to wear down the discs in the spine. Advanced or severe deterioration can lead to degenerative disc disease. Changes to spinal discs include
- Fluid loss (decreased fluid between discs lessens the vertebrae’s ability to behave as shock absorbers, decreases the flexibility of the spine, and can impact the vertebrae of the spine)
- Tearing and fissures can occur in the annulus or capsule of the spine (the outermost layer of the spinal disc.) This can cause leakage of spinal liquids)
- Weaknesses or damage to the vertebrae can lead to bulging, ruptured discs, and breakage of the discs
- Impacted vertebrae can lead to the creation of bony structures along the spine known as bone spurs
- Nerve damage can occur when damage is prolonged or worsens
Some people are more susceptible to degenerative disc disease than others. Risk factors for degenerative disc disease are
- A history of hard physical labor
- Injury to the spine
What Are The Symptoms Of Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease may present in a number of different ways. Some symptoms may be ignored or dismissed as an indication of another condition. Symptoms can include some or none of the following:
- Pain in the back or neck. The location of the pain may determine the point of injury or degeneration
- Pain is not limited to the back and neck. Pain can also occur in the arms, buttocks, and legs, depending on the location of the disc in question
- Pain may first present itself after a serious accident or injury, a relatively minor accident or injury, or through routine daily activity
- Pain worsens as flexing, bending, and twisting of the spine occurs through regular movements
- Pain can be gradual, sudden, or increase in intensity over time
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
- Asymptomatic (degenerative disc disease may not have any discernible symptoms for some sufferers)
What Is The Treatment For Degenerative Disc Disease?
Older treatments for degenerative disc disease used to mean sessions on a traction table, which did little else but stretch the spine; not focus on the source of the pain. French Chiropractic and Wellness Center uses two forms of spinal decompression including flexion/distraction chiropractic tables, and a spinal decompression table delivering FDA-approved spinal decompression therapy. Manual adjustments by hand or assisted by an instrument are also employed for conservative treatment of degenerative disc disease.
Chiropractic care focuses restoring proper segmental motion to dysfunctional vertebral regions. This ultimately improves function and flexibility and reduces pain, as pressure is removed from the nerve endings that line the joint’s surface. The therapy is designed to relieve the pain of degenerative disc disease while giving the spine an opportunity to recover from the stress associated with misalignment and compression.
French Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Madison, Ohio takes pride in helping patients suffering from the pain caused by degenerative disc disease. No one should have to suffer the pain and discomfort of back pain. Make an appointment with French Chiropractic and Wellness Center immediately to begin a new chapter of life, free of pain.
Isn’t it time you tried chiropractic care for you and your family? If you are experiencing any of the common symptoms of degenerative disc disease, please contact our office now to schedule an appointment.