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the debilitating affects of spinal degeneration


Spinal Degeneration

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YESTERDAY I ran a post on the recent series of studies dealing the debilitating effects of CHRONIC PAIN from, among other things, ARTHRITIS, BACK PROBLEMS, and NECK PROBLEMS.   Looking at these studies, I see a common thread.  All of these problems have both a mechanical component, and CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE COMPONENT to them — components whose roots are rarely being addressed.  Oh sure; of course doctors are addressing the pain.  They do this via PAIN PILLS, ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS, CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS, ANTI-DEPRESSANTS, and eventually SURGERIES.  The problem is, in far too many cases, (maybe the vast majority of cases) this is nothing more than symptomatic relief (palliative care) as opposed to doing something to actually address the underlying cause(s) of those symptoms (therapeutic care).    To address the underlying causes of SPINAL DEGENERATION, you must first know what those causes are.

The medical community would have you believe that the biggest cause of joint deterioration is birthdays.  You know; the whole, “After all Mrs. Smith, you just aren’t as young as you used to be” thing.  It’s too darn easy to blame degeneration on a person’s age, and move on to the next patient.  This is true whether the patient is 25 or 95.  Age is a convenient scapegoat.  Let’s take a moment and talk about the two main causes of DJD (DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASE), otherwise known as Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Arthritis. 

  • ABNORMAL BIOMECHANICS:   When joints or tissues move abnormally (HERE is a video example), the structures that make up said joints degenerate more rapidly than they otherwise would.  This is why I see old folks with very little degenerative change in their spine, and likewise, see people in their 30’s (or even sometimes their 20’s) with degeneration.  Abnormal motion causes degeneration, but degeneration causes abnormal joint motion.  Ladies and gentlemen; start your engines.  A “Vicious Cycle” is about to commence.  Understand that this motion must be segmental as well as sectional.  In simple English, this means that not only is it critical that you stay active, but that each and every bone / vertebra in your body must be moving freely as well.  Degeneration occurs very specifically in the areas that are not moving like they were created and designed to do.
If you can overcome these two issues (biomechanical stress and a cruddy diet), you can improve many, if not most cases of arthritis — degenerative or otherwise.  Part of this is because if you look at the research on the subject saying that it is all but impossible to correlate subjective complaints with objective findings — particularly in the realm of imaging (HERE, HERE, and HERE).   Although there are several ways to go about accomplishing this, I will leave you with some links to the most effective (HERE, HERE, HERE, & HERE).  And these do not even begin to address the concepts of CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS, dealing with FASCIAL ADHESIONS, COLD LASER THERAPY, or SPINAL DECOMPRESSION THERAPY.

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