Spinal Decompression

Degenerative Discs and Chiropractic Care

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Chiropractic care is a treatment option for degenerative disc disease (DDD). Degenerative disc/s is a condition where the wearing down of the spinal discs causes pain and discomfort. All of our spines go through this, but not everybody feels pain. The first step is to determine the disc-related problem.

Chiropractic Diagnosis

During an initial evaluation, your chiropractor will review your medical history and discuss current symptoms and the possible causes.

With degenerative disc/s, the main symptom is back pain. A chiropractor will examine potential causes:

  • The operational mechanics of the spine.
  • Thinning discs could bulge and place added pressure on the spine’s nerves.
  • Spinal stenosis can also cause back and leg pain.

A physical and neurological exam can pinpoint problem areas like:

  • Where the joint motion is restricted
  • Range of motion
  • Abnormal spinal curvature
  • Muscle spasms
  • Trigger points
  • An injury like a sprain or strain

There are different reasons your neck or back may hurt, and your examination may include some basic tests. Observance of how you walk and overall posture. This will help to observe body mechanics and how your spine moves. Imaging tests like x-rays or MRIs commonly find the problem area and cause. The chiropractor will diagnose your condition and create a treatment plan for pain alleviation. 

Degenerative Disc/s

The disc/s can lose their integrity and begin to thin and possibly tear. This increases unwanted pressure on nerves and creates friction between the vertebrae. Degenerative disc disease can go through various stages. With the progression, the negative symptoms become more pronounced.

Stages

1

  • The first stage of degenerative disc disease may go unnoticed by the individual but can be identified by a chiropractor or other medical professional.
  • The loss of the spine’s natural curvature can indicate the beginning of degenerative disc disease.
  • Pain may not be apparent, but extra pressure is being placed on the spine, leading to more rapid aging of the spine, nerves, joints, etc.

2

  • The degradation of discs becomes more apparent in the second stage.
  • They may look thinner, and it is common to see deformations in the bone, such as bone spurs.
  • The curvature of the spine will become more unnatural, and the spinal canal may become more narrow.
  • Stage 2 is often where you will begin to notice some pain and discomfort.

3

  • Stage 3 is marked by a more extreme change in the posture and curvature of the spine, along with more pain and loss of mobility.
  • Nerve damage is typical, and scar tissue typically begins to form.
  • Discs are even thinner than before, which can sometimes cause even more deformation of the bones.

4

  • The final stage of degenerative disc disease is the most severe and is typically considered irreversible.
  • Discs are at their thinnest or gone altogether.
  • The flexibility of the spine is minimal, and pain is often considerable.
  • Nerve damage can be severe, and the spine’s bones may begin to fuse.

Care

Chiropractic care is a preferred treatment for degenerative disc/s disease. Because it is gentle and non-invasive, chiropractic does not create undesirable side effects like prescription meds and surgery are more prone to do. The earlier the stage of the disease, the more successful the treatment. But chiropractic can help even in the most extreme cases. Chiropractic aims to improve joint mechanics with improved spinal motion and reduced inflammation. The chiropractor may also work on improving the function of the intervertebral discs.

Treatments can include:

Adjustment/s

One of the most effective treatments is to ensure the spine is in proper alignment. Loss of alignment, which can happen due to injury or just regular wear and tear, puts extra stress on the spine, which can accelerate disc/s degradation. Adjustments bring the body back into proper alignment.

  • Spinal manipulation will identify the joints that are restricted or those that have abnormal motion. They will use a gentle thrusting technique.
  • Flexion-distraction technique uses a gentle, non-thrusting method to treat herniated discs and spinal stenosis.
  • Instrument-assisted manipulation uses a hand-held instrument. The chiropractor or therapist applies gentle force without thrusting directly into the spine.

Therapeutic massage

  • A physical therapist can perform different types of massage to reduce muscle tension. Manual joint stretching and resistance techniques can also relieve pain and other symptoms.

Trigger point therapy

  • Here tight, painful points on a muscle/s are identified, and place direct pressure on these points is to relieve tension.

Decompression

  • Decompression is a treatment to complement adjustments. Spinal decompression uses gentle but firm pressure to bring space back between the vertebrae. Space allows blood flow to return and healing to happen.

Electrical stimulation

  • A low-frequency electrical current stimulates your muscles and reduces inflammation.

Ultrasound

  • This type can help reduce muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain with sound waves that penetrate deep into your muscle tissues. This creates a gentle heat and enhances blood circulation.

Prevention is key to chiropractic, and therapeutic exercises can prevent symptoms from worsening. Seek treatment for your back and neck pain now. Our team can help you feel better and educate you on healthier living. Your chiropractor will work hard to treat you and address all your symptoms. Chiropractors treat the whole body and not just symptoms. 


Herniated Disc Pain Treatment


NCBI Resources

A disc can also herniate and place pressure on the nerves that flow into the feet and cause pain, tingling, and numbness. The wear and tear of the spine combined with a herniated disc can pinch the nerves that go to the feet.

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Degenerative Discs and Chiropractic Care" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
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