Degeneration can result in increased compressive forces across joints and bones. The joints can start to rub on each other. The spinal discs can thin out and dry out.
This leads to a cycle of pain, spasm, inflammation following activity, and further wear and tear.
While not all degenerative conditions are painful, the risk of pain increases the more degeneration a person has.
Patients suffering with symptomatic degenerative discs and joints that we see at Twin Cities Headache Neck & Back often describe:
Degeneration in the spine can show up as disc thinning and dehydration, and this is called degenerative disc disease.
As the joints wear and tear, the surfaces can become rough, and in some cases, cysts can be seen in larger joints. This is called degenerative joint disease.
As tissues wear out, extra bony deposits can build up, and this is called spondylosis. If the bony deposits accumulate in the central spinal canal, a condition called central spinal stenosis can occur. Sometimes the bony buildup occurs where the nerves exit out of the spine, and this is called foraminal stenosis.
To diagnose degeneration of the discs or spinal joints requires a detailed history, physical exam and imaging to confirm the location and severity of the tissue changes.
Imaging can be either x-ray, MRI or CT scan. Based on the location and severity of degenerative changes, treatment planning may need to be modified and recovery expectations may need to change.
At Twin Cities Headache Neck & Back, we offer non-surgical treatment to relieve back or neck pain caused by degeneration of the discs and or joints. Common treatment includes:
Spinal adjusting, especially flexion/distraction adjusting, releasing pressure inside the discs and joints. It also opens up areas where there is stenosis and decompresses tissues.
Some patients will require medical care in conjunction with chiropractic care to speed up pain recovery and maximize recovery. Chiropractic care at our St. Paul, MN, chiropractic clinic is gentle and effective.
The goal is not to reverse degenerative changes to tissues. The goal is to reduce pain levels and improve function such as ability to exercise and do daily activity with the least amount of pain possible, and hopefully no pain.