Degenerative Disc Disease in the Neck
Imagine a scenario where you wake up one morning only to find that you can’t turn your head one way and if you try, it hurts pretty severely. You chalk this up to ‘sleeping wrong’ and that it will go away within a few days. You do everything to try to help… stretch, take over the counter medication, heat packs, etc. Two weeks later, you are back to normal; until you wake up the next morning with the same acute pain. That’s it; you are going to call your chiropractor to get adjusted!
Although this is a very common problem that people have, waking up ‘wrong’ is a sign of a larger problem. Many people who suffer with chronic flare-ups of neck pain often have a condition called degenerative disc disease (DDD). DDD can occur after having some sort of injury many years prior to the onset of ‘stiffness’ and ‘tightness’ in the neck and upper back, or it can develop slowly due to years of abnormal pressure on the joints from a poorly aligned spine. Either way, once DDD starts it is a continual process that worsens over time. With proper corrective chiropractic care, DDD may be slowed or perhaps even halted by normalizing the loading of the joints through spinal realignment.
Degenerative disc disease is diagnosed by the use of radiographs, or X-rays. Your CBP chiropractor can help educate you about your spine health once X-rays are taken. Although chiropractic cannot reverse or undo the damage that has been done by DDD, they can help you with the symptoms associated with it and potentially slow down the ongoing degeneration development. Stiffness and tightness aren’t the only symptoms associated with DDD, other symptoms can include:
- Nerve pain into the arms and hands
- Numbness and tingling into the arms and hands
- Shoulder pain
- Upper back pain
- Knots and muscle tension in the neck and upper back
- Lack of mobility and range of motion in the neck and shoulder
As CBP chiropractors, we see DDD mainly in patients who have lost the normal curvature to the neck. As the structure starts to fail, more pressure is localized into the joints and discs of the middle neck, versus being spread equally through the entire curvature. This causes the disc to wear out and causes the body to spiral into a ‘bone-and-arthritis-forming’ cascade. Fortunately, the chiropractors at Modern Chiropractic center have the skills and knowledge to combat the symptoms associated with Degenerative Disc Disease. Some of these treatment options include:
- Spinal adjustments
- Trigger point or manual therapy of the soft tissues
- Massage therapy
- Stretching techniques to target the area affected
- Exercises to improve spine alignment and strengthen the surrounding musculature
- Traction to restore the natural curvature that many times is lost
If you have chronic lack of mobility or pain in your neck, give the staff at Modern Chiropractic Center a call. Our doctors will perform an exam and take the necessary spinal x-rays to find the cause of your condition. They will then make a recommendation for care including home exercises, stretches and posture/ergonomic advice so that you can live a more-normal life again without being affected by your achy neck.
Give us a call today for a free consultation with one of our doctors.