The term “degenerative disc disease” (commonly referred to as DDD) is somewhat confusing since it’s not actually a disease but rather a normal condition that’s characterized by aging and wearing of the spinal discs. As we age, our bodies go through a variety of changes, one of which is the gradual breakdown of the spinal discs. It’s not a fast process by any means, but over the course of our lives, these spinal discs will begin to wear down. This ultimately creates the condition known as DDD. Thankfully, there are several different chiropractic treatment options available to help reduce the pain and discomfort caused by this natural condition.
A typical person’s spine contains 33 interlocking vertebrae bones (also known as discs) which bend forward and backwards to allow for proper movement. Between each of these vertebrae bones is connective tissue with jelly-like cartilage that acts as a shock absorber. This soft cushioned cartilage and connective tissue is necessary so the body can bend normally. Without it, everyday movements would be incredibly painful and difficult to perform.
Degenerative disc disease is the breakdown or degradation of the cartilage found between the vertebrae bones. As the human body ages, some of this cartilage and tissue begins to wear down, making those normal movements we take for granted increasingly difficult to perform. It may only start out as minimal swelling and slight discomfort in or around the spine, but DDD can lead to severe, debilitating pain if left untreated.
While DDD is generally a normal condition that occurs from aging, physical trauma can also lead to this condition. Automobile accidents that force one or more of the spinal discs to bulge or push outwards (herniation) will increase one’s risk of developing DDD. This is why it’s important to always get a thorough examination performed by a licensed physician or doctor after experiencing an automobile accident. Although you may look and feel fine on the outside, there could potentially be a more serious problem occurring inside your body.
People suffering from DDD may simply mask the pain using prescription painkillers. While this offers temporary relief from the discomforting sensation caused by the condition, it doesn’t help to fix the root cause of the problem. A better solution is to take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Not only will it help with the pain, but it will also reduce the swelling around your spinal discs.
Those suffering from DDD should also schedule an appointment with their chiropractor. A professional chiropractor can perform a variety of different treatment techniques to help subside some of the unpleasant symptoms associated with the condition. If your DDD is caused by a herniated or bulging disc, a professional chiropractor can manually adjust the problematic disc back into its normal place. They can also perform manual adjustments to encourage better spine health, which in turn may relieve some of your DDD symptoms. Ask your chiropractor which course of treatments will work best for your specific condition.