The aging process takes a toll on various aspects of your body. You become less flexible, and you tend to slow down as you age. You may not visibly be able to see it, but your spine tends to change as you get older. Specifically, you might develop an issue known as degenerative disc disease.
Our Lakeville, MN, chiropractor at Enlighten Chiropractic would like to take a moment to explain what it is and what to do about it.
About Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is a term that describes wear and tear on the spinal discs.
Over time, the discs change, which may lead to pain and other pleasant symptoms. It could affect any spinal region, though it’s most common in the neck and lower back. This condition will eventually affect everyone, but it doesn’t always cause symptoms.
With degenerative disc disease, the discs in your back may dry out. Healthy discs consist mainly of water and effectively act as shock absorbers. However, your discs lose water as you get older. The discs then tend to get thinner and can’t cushion the vertebrae as well.
In addition to losing hydration, your discs might also crack due to injuries or normal movement. They could develop several small tears throughout the years, and since the outer wall contains nerves, they could become painful.
Keep in mind that degenerative disc disease makes you more prone to disc herniation — an issue that occurs when the inside of a spinal disc pushes through the disc’s wall.
Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
As mentioned, not everyone experiences symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you might have pain. If the disc affects the lower portion of your back, it could push on a nerve and cause pain that extends down one leg, although it could affect both.
On the other hand, a disc injury to the upper portion of your spine could cause pain in one of your arms or possibly both.
Other possible symptoms of degenerative disc disease include numbness, weakness, tingling, or burning that affects that part of your back or extends throughout your arms or legs, depending on the location. Your symptoms might worsen whenever you move that part of your back.
Diagnosing Degenerative Disc Disease
A Lakeville, MN, chiropractor will conduct testing to determine for sure if you have this condition.
Your practitioner will assess your medical history and take into consideration if you had any previous back injuries.
Our chiropractor will want to know about your symptoms and when they’re most prevalent. During your appointment, our chiropractor will put pressure on different areas of your back to evaluate for sore, painful, or tender spots.
You may be asked to move in different ways, so our chiropractor can look for any decreases in flexibility and assess when pain’s mostly a problem.
In some cases, our practitioner will order an x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT) to check for damage.
Treating Degenerative Disc Disease
Fortunately, a Lakeville, MN, chiropractor can help you manage your pain and maintain your flexibility. For instance, a practitioner may recommend you undergo exercise therapy or visit for routine chiropractic alignments.
Hot and cold therapy is often advised to help reduce your symptoms. Part of your chiropractic care regimen may also include lifestyle advice.
Chiropractic care services in Lakeville, MN, can help if you have degenerative disc disease. You’ll undergo testing, and we’ll create a plan tailored to your needs to lessen your pain and help you move, sit, and lay with less pain.
Contact us today by calling Enlighten Chiropractic at 952-232-1935 for an appointment. We’re also available by filling out our online form.