Phases of Disc Degeneration
Normal Cervical Spine
Normal curves and proper disc spacing allow normal function of the spine and nervous system. Regardless of age, when spinal damage goes uncorrected, the body deposits calcium on the surface of adjacent bones that aren't moving property.
If neglected long enough, this splinting effect can result in complete fusion. This worsening process is called Subluxation Degeneration and can occur throughout the spine. Researchers recognize several phases of spinal decay:
Phase One Cervical Spine
Loss of normal curves and nervous system dysfunction result from uncorrected spinal trauma.
Usually seen as the misalignment and malfunction of the spine. Normal spinal motion, curves, and disc spacing are altered. Because the body is so adaptable, this early phase can exist without the warning of pain or other symptoms. If left uncorrected, the degeneration continues.
Phase Two Cervical Spine
Bone spurs and abnormal bony growths distort the shape and function of the vertebrae.
Recognized on X-ray views of the spine by visible bone spurs and rough edges of the vertebrae. Soft tissues, such as discs and ligaments degenerate from the lack of normal joint movement. Again, pain or other symptoms may not be present.
Phase Three Cervical Spine
After years of neglect, the improperly functioning spinal joints often fuse together.
A lifetime of neglect may cause the eventual fusion of the malfunctioning joints. Atrophy, permanent nerve damage, and soft tissue degeneration are prevalent. Reduced mobility and impaired nervous system function diminish one's quality of life.
"Normal" 75-Year-Old Cervical Spine
This 75-year old patient prevented Subluxation Degeneration with many years of regular chiropractic checkups.
Subluxation Degeneration is how the body responds to improperly functioning spinal joints. With early detection, appropriate chiropractic care has been shown to slow, stop, or even reverse the early stages of this process. Ask your doctor to design a program of preventive care for you.