Back and neck pain are the most common forms of pain in the United States. Pain can be caused by many different things including injury, poor posture, or disease. But did you know not all back pain is due to our behaviors? In fact, the main cause of cervical degenerative disc disease is, simply, aging.
Cervical degenerative disc disease occurs when the natural shock absorbers located between the vertebrae become worn, causing the space between the vertebrae to narrow and nerve roots to be pinched.
I’ll explain further. Your neck is made up of seven vertebrae that we call the ‘cervical spine.’ In between these vertebrae there are small discs that allow your neck to turn side to side and bend back and forth. In addition, the discs allow your neck to absorb shock and keep the neck steady.As we age, the amount of water in our discs decreases and the collagens and proteins change chemically. This causes the discs to be stiff and rigid, prone to tearing, and decreases the amount of natural space between vertebrae.
As a result, your neck becomes less flexible, you may become inhibited by neck and upper back pain, and you may experience an overall feeling of stiffness.
Cervical degenerative disc disease is a slow process. Common symptoms include neck pain, stiff neck, and/or pain or weakness in your arms, shoulders or hands. However, those with cervical degenerative disc disease do not always feel the symptoms. Researchers estimate that 25 percent of people under 40 have degenerative disc disease but do not experience symptoms.
Although cervical degenerative disc disease is largely caused by aging, we can still take preventative measures by taking good care of ourselves. Avoid smoking, exercise regularly, and maintain good posture. Visiting a chiropractor before you are diagnosed with degenerative disc disease may be beneficial as chiropractors ensure your body is functioning properly and your spine is aligned.
If you have cervical degenerative disc disease, you know how painful and frustrating it can be. Therefore, seeking the help of a chiropractor is highly recommended. Chiropractors can help manipulate your spine, muscles, and joints to reduce stiffness and inflammation. In addition, your chiropractor will help you increase your range of motion and teach you exercises and postures to decrease neck pain.
A chiropractor’s care may help improve the condition of your spine naturally and effectively. Unlike other treatment options, chiropractors get to the root of the problem instead of masking it with addictive pain medications. Chiropractors work hand in hand with patients to make positive changes that reduce pain for good.
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