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Is Degenerative Disc Disease Really a Normal Part of Aging?

older womanHave you ever visited your physician with a concern about pain, stiffness, pinching, numbness, or tingling in your neck, lower back, arms, or legs? You may have been sent for an x-ray to assess the area of concern. People have told us many times over the years that their x-ray report came back “normal” — yet indicating degenerative disc disease that their doctor reassured them was a normal part of aging. This can leave a person feeling frustrated, almost wishing “something” had been found that would explain how they have been feeling.

Isn’t that strange? That someone could actually wish for a medical finding to show up, simply so that they would have an explanation for their pain.

The belief that degeneration in the spine is a normal part of aging is an outdated belief that leaves people suffering needlessly, often reaching for potentially harmful pharmaceuticals in an attempt to feel better.

And if it really was this simple, then how can we explain the fact that here at Hazeldean Family Chiropractic we have seen 60, 70, and 80 year olds with healthy spines and only a very mild degree of degeneration? Or 20 and 30 year olds with advanced deterioration at one spinal level?

Spinal joints and discs break down or degenerate for a reason. If it was simply normal aging, then all the joints would break down uniformly. There is excellent research which shows that when the spine deviates away from optimal alignment, the loads on spinal discs and joints increase. With forward head posture, the loads can increase up to 6 times on the lower neck!

Over time, this excess loading forces the spine to remodel under pressure, which leads to the formation of bone spurs, narrowing of discs, and smaller nerve openings in the spine. We can avoid or minimize this degenerative process by correcting and maintaining healthy spinal curves through corrective chiropractic care.

Let’s redefine normal aging as “aging with health, vitality, and life”!

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