What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease is not as much a disease as it is a name for the changes that can occur to the spine with age. This can happen when spinal care has been neglected or when the spine has not been moving properly due to injury, poor ergonomics, and a variety of other reasons.
Our discs are made of a tough, rubbery exterior and a soft interior that includes a lot of water in a gel-like state. They sit between the vertebrae to act as shock absorbers and spacers, providing space for nerve roots to exit the spinal column. The only way that the discs stay nice and thick is by proper movement of the vertebrae above and below the disc. This is how they imbibe fluid from surrounding tissues. Think of them like a sponge --- you must squeeze the sponge to get water in and out. As we age, the spinal discs tend to degenerate by decreasing in height, mostly because of restricted motion in the spine. This can contribute to nerve root irritation, herniated discs, bulging discs, spinal stenosis, and osteoarthritis. Chiropractic care can be a major help in either preventing disc degeneration in the first place or minimizing symptoms and slowing or stopping the progression in those already suffering from degeneration. Proper motion of the spine is absolutely key to solving spinal degenerative issues.
Degenerative Disc Symptoms
The degeneration of spinal discs may cause no symptoms at all, and symptoms depend on each patient and the severity of their case. Pain may occur at the site of the affected disc in the back or neck. As the pain is often caused by compressed nerves, this pain can also travel to other areas of the body like the buttocks, arms, and legs. Numbness and tingling in the arms and legs may also be experienced. Pain can range from mild to severe and debilitating. Allow Dr. White to assess your situation and help you make the best choices for your particular condition.