How to Prevent Spinal Arthritis and Degenerative Disc Disease

By Dr. FJ Schofield, DC

It is a common misconception that degenerative disc disease and spinal arthritis

 are a normal part of aging. It is true that there will be some wear and tear as your body ages. However, what most people fail to comprehend is the rate at which your spine and body break down are dependent upon a 3 very important factors.  The composition of your body chemically, emotionally and structurally will determine how quickly or slowly your body breaks down.

The most important of those 3 factors is structure for preventing degenerative disc disease and arthritis. The discs and ligaments in your spine are avascular after the age of 13. That means they have no blood supply. Blood brings nutrition and removes waste for most of your body. The discs and ligaments in your spine rely on motion to receive the nutrition and fluids they need and to remove metabolic waste. There is a natural pumping action that occurs in your spine when you breathe and move. In a healthy spinal column this movement keeps the discs and ligaments in your spine healthy and your vertebra age very slowly. Chiropractic research has shown that when a bone in your spine goes out of alignment it becomes hypomobile. This means misalignments in the spinal column prevent the vertebra from moving. They literally get locked out of alignment. When this happens the discs and joints in your spinal column are unable to obtain the fluid and nutrition they require. This causes the joints to become stiff and start to degenerate. Every study ever done on hypomobile joints has shown hypomobility leads to degeneration in the joints, facets, cartilage and discs.

When a bone in your spine goes out of alignment it injures the soft tissues that support it. This creates inflammation. If the misalignment is not corrected your body will heal out of alignment causing repetitive microtraumas to the soft tissues supporting the spinal column. The repetitive injuries will cause chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a serious problem because inflammation brings white blood cells. White blood cells destroy viruses, bacteria and cancer cells. However, if the inflammation does not subside, the white blood cells will eat away the joints in your spinal column like termites in a house.

Degenerative disc disease and spinal arthritis are a serious condition because when the area eventually fuses, it is no longer correctable. This irrepairable musculoskeletal damage causing permanent neurological impairment, meaning the permanent distortions in the spinal column will cause neurological interference for the rest of your life.

This occurs because your brain controls every cell, tissue and organ in your body with the nerves that come out of your spinal column. The nerves exit your spine though a hole that is created between 2 vertebrae. This hole is called an intervertebral foramen (IVF). When the disc in your spine degenerates the IVF becomes smaller and the nerves in your spine become pinched. This prevents some the messages sent by the brain from getting to your body.  If the nerve being pinched goes to your heart this interference can lead to high blood pressure or heart disease. If the nerve being pinched goes to your stomach in can lead to acid reflux or ulcerative colitis. As you can see a pinched nerve can cause serious health problems.  If the disc is completely destroyed the body fuses the two vertebra to stabilize the area. This is very smart because if the body did not do that you could bend over and snap a nerve paralyzing yourself. However, the pinched nerve will no longer be correctable and pain and other health problems will be something you have to live with, for the rest of your life.

The misalignments in your spine if caught early are simple to correct with chiropractic adjustments. As you can see waiting is dangerous. Get you and your family checked today to find out if there might be silent misalignments in your spine that overtime will lead to degenerative disc disease, spinal arthritis and serious neurological conditions.

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