If your neck and back have started to play some extremely unpleasant tricks on you, may be one of the many Americans suffering from degenerative disc disease. This problem (which is not actually a disease, but a degeneration of the cushioning discs between the vertebrae) can cause intermittent or constant pain along the spine, in addition to extremity symptoms caused by nerve impingement. But you can get the relief you seek through conservative care treatments here at Discover Integrated Health in Kennesaw GA.
The Nature of Degenerative Disc Disease
If degenerative disc disease isn’t a disease, then what exactly is it? The term refers to the gradual deterioration and age-related changes that naturally occur in the spinal discs. These discs, which consist of a fluid interior, covered by a disc-shaped cartilaginous casing, act as the spine’s shock absorbers. They also maintain the correct amount of intervertebral space for the facet joints that join the vertebrae together.
In degenerative disc disease, the fluids within the discs begin to dry out. This causes the disc to lose height, flatten, and bulge as the vertebrae above them continue to apply downward pressure. The space between vertebrae reduces, which can cause inflammation and arthritic changes in the facet joints. The outer disc casing may start to weaken or crack under the increased strain, a condition known as a herniated disc.
If the inner fluid material escapes, its inflammatory substances can cause a great deal of pain. Damage to the nerves of the outer casing can also be painful. Any pressure placed on neighboring spinal nerves can refer pain and other unpleasant symptoms to the arms or legs. You may experience the most discomfort when sitting down since the load on the lower spine increases greatly in that position.
How Your Chiropractor in Kennesaw Can Help
Your chiropractor in Kennesaw, Dr. Gruber or Dr. Ferrari, can take X-rays while evaluating your symptoms, lifestyle factors, and age to diagnose degenerative disc disease. Our non-invasive treatment methods can help you avoid surgery (which should always be the last resort).
Since degenerative disc disease typically causes spinal imbalances which worsen your condition, chiropractic adjustments can be very helpful by realigning spinal structures and taking pressure off of nerves. If your spine could benefit from stronger muscular support, we will prescribe corrective exercises. Nutritional guidance can help you adopt an anti-inflammatory diet, easing your pain without drugs.