Degenerative disc disease, or DDD, can occur in any area of the spine, but it is most commonly found in the lumbar spine. Contrary to its name, it is not actually a disease, but rather a condition where discs “degenerate” and lose height and flexibility. Discs have a very limited blood supply and the center of the disc is about 80% water. With age and different traumas, the disc can dry out and shrink, which results in a loss of disc height and flexibility. Once the disc is injured, it cannot repair itself easily and this can lead to a multitude of symptoms.
Of course, symptoms can vary from person to person and many people with DDD have no pain, while others may experience intense pain that affects their daily living. Commonly, the pain begins in the lower back, and it may be felt in one or both of your legs and buttocks. Some report feeling numbness or tingling down into the leg and foot.
Treatment options range from nonsurgical methods, including chiropractic, physical therapy, pain management or lifestyle changes, to surgical intervention. None of these options increase the natural disc height. One non-surgical option available today is spinal decompression and this has been shown to restore disc height. A study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders Journal titled “Restoration of Disk Height Through Non-surgical Spinal Decompression Is Associated With Decreased Discogenic Low Back Pain: A Retrospective Cohort Study” showed the restoration of disc height. The conclusion of the study stated, “Non-surgical spinal decompression was associated with a reduction in pain and an increase in disc height. The correlation of these variables suggests that pain reduction may be mediated, at least in part, through a restoration of disc height. A randomized controlled trial is needed to confirm these promising results.”
So how does spinal decompression work? Spinal decompression works by gently stretching the spine. This motion creates a negative pressure inside the disc, which acts like a vacuum. This vacuum produces an influx of fluid and nutrients into the disc, which helps the discs to heal. With the addition of specific nutrients through supplementation, the influx of nutrients helps the discs to heal, becoming more flexible, more hydrated and even taller. As disc bulges are drawn in, or as the discs begin to regenerate, pressure is taken off the nerves and surrounding structures relieving the patient of pain, numbness and tingling. To see if spinal decompression is the solution you are looking for, visit www.naturalspinesolutions.com for more information.
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Dr. Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor at Natural Spine Solutions. The business is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene and the phone number is 208-966-4425.