Degenerative Disc Disease
What is a disc?
The Inter-vertebral discs are located between adjacent vertebrae in the spine. The disc acts as a spacer, shock absorber, and part of the cartilaginous joints that allow movement in the spine. The disc can withstand compression and other stresses, while allowing a great deal of movement and flexibility. There are a total of twenty-four inter-vertebral discs in the spine.
Degenerative disc disease is a condition where the disc, the soft pad positioned in between each of the vertebrae of the spine, deteriorates and causes either chronic pain or painful flare ups. A degenerative disc can lead to a chronic debilitating condition and can have a serious negative impact on a person’s quality of life.
With symptomatic degenerative disc disease, chronic low back pain sometimes radiates to the hips, or there is pain in the buttocks or thighs while walking: sporadic tingling or weakness through the knees may also be evident. Similar pain may be felt or may increase while sitting, bending, lifting, and twisting. Chronic neck pain can also be caused in the upper spine, with pain radiating to the shoulders, arms and hands. Neck pain may cause interrupted blood supply to the brain resulting in headaches, vertigo and worsened cognitive abilities and memory.
Degenerative Disc Disease is primarily a result of an injury, chronic repetitive stress, or poor posture. The muscles that support the spine become weakened over time and use thereby creating additional stress on the disc. Strengthening the muscles that support the spine, thereby relieving stress on the disc, is the best option at this time to relieve disc pain. Strengthening these muscles with traditional exercise is very difficult to do especially as we age and try to minimize risk to the joints.
What are my Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment options?
1) Chiropractic Care – to relieve the source of irritation and pain and improve posture.
2) Power Plate Whole Body Vibration – specialized exercises that stabilize the spine to prevent future irritation and stimulate blood flow to the injured area.
3) BStrong4Life System – to strengthen the muscles tissue surrounding the spine.
4) Drugs and Medications
5) Spinal Bracing
7) Pain Management
8) Alternative Treatment (commonly acupuncture, herbal remedies and massage)
Horbach Chiropractic combines the first 3 options and creates a customized spinal strengthening program for each patient.
This approach reduces the pain and stimulates the spinal structures (muscles, tendons and ligaments) that support the spine to heal and regenerate at an accelerated rate with lasting results. Since chronic pain or flare ups are a multi-faceted condition, it generally requires a multi-faceted treatment plan that includes relieving the pain stimulators and strengthening the surrounding inner muscle tissue to better support the spine and keep pressure off the disc.
Of the available treatments, Chiropractic treatment combined with Power Plate and the BStrong4life Strengthening System provides the safest and most effective option available.