Disc degeneration is one of the most common ailments people have that contributes to chronic low back pain. Chiropractic combined with regular exercise and stretching can help alleviate pain and even decrease progression of disc degeneration.
What is Disc Degeneration?
Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common causes of low back pain and neck pain, and also one of the most misunderstood. Disc degeneration can happen for many reasons, the most common reason is osteoarthritis in the spine. The common belief is that this is simply just a part of getting old. This is only partly true, it is more common in older individuals, but that is more a result of the fact that this condition takes time to become severe, often times many years. But the simple fact of the matter is that is it the result of chronic stress to that joint. If the stress is removed then the disc degeneration can be stopped.
What are Common Stresses?
Your spine is surrounded by 6 layers of muscles that are keys to providing proper stabilization and control of your core. If these muscles are weak, not working together, or not functioning properly this will put added stress on your joints. Over time if this is not addressed it can lead to disc degeneration. Research has show that we there are a few exercises that have proven to be most effective at improving our core strength, they are called The Big 3 Core Exercises and they were were developed by Dr. Stuart McGill and are staples in spinal rehabilitation.
I believe when the muscles surrounding the joint are weak and not functioning properly they will directly effect the function of the joint and as a result will not move and function properly. The body responds to this dysfunction as lack of stability and the body wants to stabilize it. Since the muscles and joints are not doing their jobs properly the body way of compensating is to fuse the joint, resulting in disc degeneration, lack of disc joint space and creation of painful bone spurs.
What Can I Do If I Have Disc Degeneration?
Unfortunately because of lack of blood flow to the discs there is not much that can be done about reversing/healing disc degeneration that has already occurred but if the stresses are minimized or removed you can limit the progression of further disc degeneration.
See Your Bend Oregon Chiropractor
Chiropractic care focuses on the joints and the muscles and whether they are moving and functioning optimally. Chiropractic therapies include; Chiropractic Adjustment, Soft Tissue Release, Therapeutic Exercise are all therapies that will increase the flexibility and function of joints, giving them the capacity to be stronger and function properly.
Movement is the key to keeping Disc Degeneration from progressing. You chiropractor will help get you out of pain with out being on pain killers constantly, and once you are out of pain it is important that you focus on making some lifestyle changes in terms of exercise. They key to successful exercise is to build a good foundation, and that means you need to focus on your core. When you are in chronic pain, the pain acts like a dimmer switch and your muscles will shrink and become weak over time. When we get out of pain the first step is daily doing exercises for your core. Here are the exercises that everyone should be doing daily for their core: DEAD BUG, QUADRUPED/BIRD DOG, and SIDE PLANK
Flexibility is the key to quality movement and along with exercise stretching needs to be a part of you day to day. Her are some simple stretches you can do at home to keep your spine moving the way it is meant to move.
Stayed tuned for more tips and information about chronic pain, sports medicine, and other musculoskelatal conditions. My goal as your Bend Chiropractor is to educate the community on how through some simple lifestyle changes you can find pain relief and improve your quality of life for good.