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Taking Control of Your Health: Slowing Down the Degenerative Process

Taking Control of Your Health: Slowing Down the Degenerative Process

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom Line:

The dreaded degenerative disc disease. Well, it may not be so dreaded after all. You may be surprised to learn that degenerative disc disease is a part of the normal aging process. As we age, our discs lose some of their water content and become less supple. This makes them appears darker on an MRI. And when they appear darker on MRI, you guessed it; they are labeled as degenerative.

Why it Matters:

Just because all of us will experience degenerative disc disease as we age doesn’t mean that process is the same for everyone. Research has shown that by taking a pro-active approach with your spinal health, you may be able to slow down the degenerative process.

  • Degenerative changes are part of the normal aging process due to the weight of gravity, injuries, and repetitive stress on your spine.
  • Researchers have found a correlation between the amount of arthritis in the spine and the severity of degenerative changes.
  • Stretching, exercising (regional motion) and chiropractic care (segmental motion) are thought to improve spinal biomechanics and may slow down the degenerative process.

Next Steps:

New research has shown that degenerative changes accelerate on joints that aren’t moving correctly. We encourage you to take control of your spinal health with exercise, stretching, and even periodic chiropractic adjustments. By keeping your spine moving, you will have the best opportunity to slow down the aging process while feeling great every step of the way.

 

Science Source(s):

Do modic changes, disc degeneration, translation and angular motion affect facet osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine. European Journal of Radiology. 2018

Your Arm Pain Could Be a Neck Problem

Your Arm Pain Could be a Neck Problem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom Line:

Pain in your hand, wrist, or arm can be frustrating. You don’t realize how much you use your arms and hands each second of the day until pain, numbness, or tingling gets in the way. But, getting rid of the pain may be easier than you think.

Why it Matters:

Hand, wrist, and arm pain often starts with a neck problem. When a spinal disc in your neck irritates or presses on a nerve, it can result in arm pain. Just like the power lines that bring electricity to your house, your brain and spinal cord split into individual nerve roots that deliver information to every part of your body. The nerves in your neck are specifically focused on providing strength and sensation to your head and arms.

  • A bulged or herniated disc in your neck can irritate or compress the nerves that travel to your hands, arms, and shoulders.
  • A recent study of people with cervical (neck) disc herniation showed improvement in over 86% of those who received chiropractic adjustments.
  • Improving spinal mobility, decreasing inflammation, and improving your posture may help prevent future episodes of neck and arm pain.

Next Steps:

A painful arm as a result of a pinched nerve in your neck very rarely requires surgery. Getting rid of the inflammation, decompressing the nerve, and giving the disc time to heal are all part of a complete plan we use each day to help our patients reduce their symptoms and get their life back.

 

Science Source(s):

Symptomatic, Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Confirmed Cervical Disk Herniation Patients: A Comparative-Effectiveness Prospective Observational Study of 2 Age- and Sex-Matched Cohorts Treated With Either Imaging-Guided Indirect Cervical Nerve Root Injections or Spinal Manipulative Therapy. JMPT 2016

How to Prevent Spinal Disc Injuries

How to Prevent Spinal Disc Injuries

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom Line:

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. I often wonder if the author of that quote happened to have a disc herniation. By investing in a pro-active approach to your spinal health now, you may be able to avoid suffering from a disc injury later in life. And, while there is no specific protocol to guarantee you will never have a disc herniation, there are a few action steps you can take now to lower your risk. In fact, researchers have recently discovered that you can reduce your chances of suffering from a herniated disc by keeping your spinal muscles strong.

Why it Matters:

An active lifestyle, regular exercise, and even Chiropractic adjustments are all considered essential aspects of optimal spinal health. Degenerative changes to your spinal discs and weakened muscles around your spine can increase your risk of a disc herniation. In our practice, we focus on helping you live an active and healthy lifestyle to keep your spine both durable and flexible. When you receive an adjustment from us, your spine is better able to move freely as a result, and this is thought to help slow down the degenerative process.

  • Spinal disc degeneration and weakened muscles can increase your risk of disc herniation.
  • An active lifestyle consisting of exercise and Chiropractic adjustments may be able to lower your risk.
  • Taking a pro-active approach to your spinal health can help improve your overall quality of life.

Next Steps:

We have found that a pro-active approach to spinal health can lead to a significant improvement in your quality of life. If you have any questions about how you can get more active just ask! We love helping our patients reach their healthcare goals.

Science Source(s):

Correlation between intervertebral disc degeneration, paraspinal muscle atrophy, and lumbar facet joints degeneration in patients with lumbar disc herniation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28427393

A Spinal Disc Bulge or Herniation: What’s the Difference?

A Spinal Disc Bulge or Herniation: What’s the Difference?

Bottom Line:

The bones, discs, ligaments, and muscles of your spine are designed to help you maintain proper spinal alignment,
posture, and movement. Between each set of bones or vertebrae is a small rubbery disc. These discs act as small
shock absorbers for your spinal bones and nerves. They have a tough, rubber-like outer layer called the annulus
fibrosis and a soft jelly-like center that is called the nucleus pulposus. As you age or encounter injuries, the curve of
your spine may fall out of alignment. This can place uneven stress on your spinal column and discs, increasing the
chance of having a disc break down and herniate.

Why it Matters:
A disc herniation occurs when the outer portion of the disc ruptures (or tears) and the soft inner portion squeezes out.
This type of injury can cause pain at the site of herniation, or sometimes the herniated disc can pinch a nearby nerve,
causing pain that can radiate down into your arms and legs. Similarly, a disc bulge occurs when the outer wall of the
disc is weakened, but the inner portion has not yet broken through.

- A disc herniation occurs when the inside of a spinal disc breaks through its outside wall.

- Disc herniations often contribute to nerve compression, which can send pain, weakness, or numbness into
your arms or legs.

- By maintaining proper spinal alignment, you can reduce added wear and tear on your discs and potentially
decrease the likelihood of a disc herniation.

Next Steps:

Now that you know what a disc herniation is, be sure to stay tuned. Next week, we’ll reveal the best ways you can
find natural relief. Can you guess what type of care resulted in over 90% of people with a disc herniation finding
improvement within the first few months? We’ll be back next week with the answer!

Columbia University. The Spine Hospital 2018
Herniated Disk: What is it? Harvard Medical School. Harvard Health Publishing 2018