According to website suckhoedoisong.vn, more than 80% of people in this country who are over 60 years old suffer from joint diseases which are related to osteoarthritis and 33% of which would be due to spinal degeneration. Without the necessary knowledge to protect ourselves, there would be potential risk of us facing these problems. So what exactly is spinal degeneration? What causes spinal degeneration and how does it affect our body? Let’s find out more on its root causes and the solutions from Dr. Eric Balderree today.
1. First of all, what is spinal degeneration?
According to Dr. Eric, spinal degeneration is a process that bones go through where the shape and function of the spinal vertebra change, whereupon both the vertebra as well as the disc that separate the bones are affected.
2. What causes spine degeneration?
The most common cause of spinal degeneration is unnatural physical force on a bone. Most people incorrectly think that it happens “when we get old”, but that’s not the case at all. When we look at a person’s spine, regardless of their age there will be some bones that are perfect, like that of a 20 year old, but a few bones will degenerate.
Therefore, we know it does not happen just because we get old, but rather because a joint takes on unnatural forces probably because of either trauma and misaligned bones, and that causes degeneration to occur at that particular joint.
3. What are the symptoms of degenerative spine condition?
Spinal degeneration can generally lead to negative effects, with some patients not even knowing that they have it, until they eventually lose their normal range of motion in that part of the body (neck, mid-back, low back) leading to more significant symptoms such as pain, stiffness, tingling, numbness, loss of muscle power, etc. It’s important to remember that those symptoms normally occur after the degeneration has happened for years, being result of a long standing spinal problem.
4. How to treat the spinal degeneration?
The treatment of spinal degeneration depends on location of the degeneration, the severity, as well as the patient’s specific symptomatic complaints. Generally, the first thing that needs to be done is to take the unnatural forces off the spine with light manual adjustments by Doctors of Chiropractic. Chiropractic is the practice of finding areas of the spine where the nerve function has been affected, causing symptoms such as pain, numbness, etc. Over a period of time, the adjustment of spine will help to remove the nerve dysfunction. Patients could also benefit from decompression therapy, Class IV laser therapy as well as spinal-specific rehabilitation exercises that are taught in clinic.
5. How Chiropractic can help with spinal degeneration?
Chiropractic helps in cases where the problem originated from the spine and by addressing the root cause, we are able to slowly recover the health and function of the spine, leading to gradual reduction of the symptoms.
6. Should we use operation to treat this condition?
Spinal operations should always be the LAST RESORT and considered only after all other treatment options have been tried and proven to be unsuccessful. We have seen patients with mild to severe degeneration recovering without surgery for many years. We have also seen patients coming into clinic who have had surgery previously and still suffering. Unless there are no other treatment options, surgery should be avoided. We always approach a situation like this with the question “If it was my mother, what would I do?”, and provide the patient an honest opinion. In all the years of practicing for Dr Eric, he has only referred at most 5 patients for surgery.
7. How to prevent spine degeneration?
The number one thing a person can do to prevent spine degeneration is to be proactive with their spinal health. And the way to do that is to get their spine regularly checked by a specialist BEFORE they get symptoms. Otherwise the spine degeneration may have already started without any awareness of the person. In addition, people need to have proper posture, whether standing or sitting. Improper posture is a very big factor in spinal degeneration. Lastly, specific exercises and stretches for the spine will help as well to maintain a healthy spine.
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