The first thing we need to get out of the way when discussing degenerative disc disease is the word “disease”. It’s not a disease.
Degenerative disc disease is part of the natural aging process. As we get older, parts of our body begin to show the signs of time. Your discs become thinner and more brittle, where they were once thick and soft.
When that happens, nerves can be impacted, resulting in pain. The discs, once degeneration begins to take hold, contain less of the fluid they need to keep vertebrae separated. Bulging (or herniated) discs are more of a risk, once this process begins.
Once we get to middle age, we’re all living with degenerating discs to some degree, whether they hurt or not. It’s when they hurt that a chiropractor can help.
Degeneration of spinal discs can be accompanied by other conditions, like herniation or osteoarthritis. A lot of what your chiropractor can do for you depends on the presence of co-morbid conditions like these, your general state of health and your level of pain.
But because chiropractors like me are holistic practitioners, we’re trained to recognize symptoms as being indicative of certain conditions. You may not even know your pain has been caused by degenerative disc disease, but a chiropractor can help you find out and then treat you.
Everything in the practice of chiropractic care isn’t about adjustment. We also use techniques employing manual manipulation which are gentle and which directly address and ease nerve pain. Depending on the symptoms you’re presenting and other conditions which you may be dealing with, a chiropractor knows what your body can and can’t absorb in terms of therapy.
Part of what I do in my practice is partner with patients to help them enjoy a better quality of life. That means being a health advisor, as well as a practitioner. For many of my patients with degenerative disc disease, I’ll prescribe exercises designed to relieve pain and strengthen the body. I may also counsel lifestyle changes affecting diet and weight management.
The human body is complex, so treatment is never superficial. Effective pain relief and management considers the whole person and how that person might be helped outside the doctor’s office. With degenerative disc disease patients, I’ve seen incredible outcomes resulting from developing a healthcare partnership with my patients that encourages healthier ways of living.
As I’ve said above, I’m not a “bone cracker”. I’m a health care professional with a variety of techniques at my disposal which can be applied according to patient need. Manipulation and massage are only two of the ways I help the people I treat.
The advantage I enjoy as a chiropractor at Back & Body is the team here. That’s an advantage for patients, too. The multi-disciplinarian team here supports my work with physical therapy, sports medicine and acupuncture, offering patients a full spectrum of pain relief and management services.
Find out more about chiropractic care for degenerative disc disease. Contact us.