By Bellevue Chiropractor, Dr. Bob Cummins
Bellevue- Degenerative disc disease is a general term used to describe significant wear and tear at the intervertebral disc located between the vertebra of the spine. The condition is most common in the neck and low back regions, and less prevalent in the mid back.
How does degenerative disc disease happen? Excessive wear patterns occur when there is chronic poor spinal alignment that increases stress on the spine, when the spine goes through repetitive movements that exceed its adaptive capacity, and / or when there is a single or series of traumas to the disc region.
Pain is a highly subjective experience that occurs in the brain and is dependent on a list of variables such as emotional state, nutrition, sleep, quality of social relationships, sense of purpose, physical activity level, and genetics. Two people could have severe degenerative disc disease, one person may be in chronic pain, and the other might be pain free. But… pain is not the best measure of health. To say that there is nothing serious about having degenerative disc disease if there is no pain, is along the same lines as saying there is nothing wrong with a tooth cavity as long as you don’t have any tooth pain.
People with degenerative disc disease tend to me more stiff, they are less flexible, and their ability to function at the highest levels is decreased. If going for long bike rides and hikes is important, if working in the yard all day is important, if being able to pick up your grandchildren is important, than taking care of your spine and minimizing degenerative disc disease is important, regardless of how much pain you feel.
How do you minimize degenerative disc disease? Keep your spine tuned by a chiropractor, at least once a month is ideal. Keep your body’s systemic inflammation low by eating a vegetable based diet with low refined sugar content. Incorporate routine exercise that addresses flexibility, strength, and endurance. Develop strategies to optimize how you deal with stress. Follow this recipe and you will minimize degenerative disc disease.
Anyone wishing more information may contact Dr. Cummins, whose office is located at 4122 Factoria Blvd. SE, Suite 202, Bellevue, WA (telephone 425-590-9158).
Cummins Chiropractic and Wellness provides a natural and drug free solution to help neck pain, back pain, headaches and injuries from car accidents through chiropractic, massage, decompression, cold laser, auto injury recovery, and creating wellness services for those seeking gold medal health in and around Bellevue, Seattle, Renton, Factoria, Issaquah and Newcastle.