PHASES OF SPINAL DEGENERATION
Most people think that spinal misalignment only occurs when you suffer a traumatic injury like a car accident. In truth, the most mundane activities can cause spinal issues, and almost everyone suffers from some sort of spinal dysfunction at some point during their life. Whether you work a sedentary desk job or you’re a high-performance athlete, you can suffer spinal trauma from simple, everyday activities, from walking to watching television.
Repetitive traumas, over time, can affect your spine in the same way as a traumatic injury. They can be just as serious as a major car accident. In fact, when your spine suffers stress over a long period of time, it can reduce your health to the point where it leads to degeneration of your spinal column.
Spinal degeneration is a serious condition that can result in neurological problems and a range of health issues. The longer it continues, the harder it is to correct. That’s why chiropractic care is essential to keeping your spine in good shape. The sooner you start, the lower your risk of spinal degeneration will be. Let’s examine the stages of spinal degeneration, the health risks they can pose and how chiropractic care can help to keep you well and avoid these problems.
In Phase I, noticeable shifts in the spacing between the spinal discs occur. At this stage, most patients don’t actually note obvious symptoms. There’s usually no pain or reduction in flexibility, mobility or posture. With proper chiropractic care, degeneration at this stage can be stabilized and your health can be maintained at an ideal level. If left unattended, however, the condition will get worse.
In Phase II, most patients will begin to experience issues like aches and pains, stiffness and possibly reduced mobility. Usually, the symptoms aren’t immediately recognizable as being caused by compressed space between spinal discs. Patients might visit the doctor due to discomfort, however. At this stage, it’s still sometimes possible to correct the condition, and in any case, chiropractic can help to prevent further degeneration.
In the third phase of degeneration, your spine has noticeably abnormal curvature. You may have the early stages of fused vertebrae, and some damage may be permanent. While the condition cannot be reversed at this stage, a qualified and experienced chiropractor like Dr. Loren can slow the progression of the condition and even correct some of the issues, which will restore some level of mobility and health.
Phase IV is the final stage of degeneration of your spine. At this point, quality of life decreases measurably, and patients experience a broad range of health issues, from severe pain to numbness and weakness in the extremities. Many become more susceptible to disease and illness, and mobility issues are common. Though much of the damage suffered from compressed vertebrae at this level is permanent, a good chiropractor can still help you to restore mobility and well-being and offer some improvement to your overall health.