Disc degeneration is a normal part of aging and not a problem for most people, but for some it can cause severe bouts of acute or chronic pain.
Degenerative disc disease is not actually a disease, but is a condition in which pain is caused from a damaged disc. In severe cases, pain can become chronic (last longer than three months).
The spinal column consists of 33 vertebrae which protect the spinal cord and provide stability for the torso. Between each vertebrae is a fibrous bundle of tissue called an intervertebral disc which act as cushions that absorb the shock and pressure associated with normal movement.
The intervertebral discs are made up of two parts: a tough fibrous outer part (called the annulus fibrosis) and the softer gel-like centre (the nucleas pulposis). As we age, the water content in the nucleas pulpous decreases and the discs begin to degenerate. This may or may not be painful, but as a result the disc is also more vulnerable to injury or inflammation.
Therefore alignment of the discs, the vertebrae and other structures in the spine can be even more important as we age. Chiropractic care restore alignment, improve spinal range of motion, reduce inflammation, and addresses the cause of pain or discomfort associated with degenerative disc disease.
The good news is that most cases of degenerative disc disease do not require surgery. The chiropractic approach to degenerative disc disease is long term recovery from pain using safe, noninvasive and drug free treatments. Spinal manipulation, spinal decompression and other manual therapies, combined with therapeutic exercises and lifestyle modifications are aspects of how Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic Clinic manages and treats patients with degenerative disc disease.
So while degenerative disc disease is a natural part of aging, it does not mean you have to live with pain. We have a deep commitment to education to help our patients understand the cause of their pain so that you can eliminate risk of future pain and injury. Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic Clinic can help you return to a healthy, pain-free and active life.
Visit Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic Clinic for a full examination, diagnosis and treatment plan. We can help manage and eliminate chronic pain resulting from degenerative disc disease – even after surgery.
Exercise is Important for Overall Health & Wellness – Even when Injured
When visiting Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic Clinic, the chiropractor will want to know about your physical activity – what, how often, and whether you have an injury or condition that has changed that routine. Not all exercise is the same. Some is for strength, some is for flexibility and range of motion. Some are intense and some are relaxing. Some are aerobic and some are anaerobic.
In most cases, we can all use some adaptation to our physical activity level. This is especially true if you are rehabilitating from an injury or are under a chiropractor’s care. It is important that your body is strong enough to eventually hold the adjustment made by your chiropractor. Therefore cardio and gentle strengthening exercises combined with chiropractic care are important in rehabilitation from injury. Some people may need to incorporate more stretching or increased variety into their routine, especially if they spend long periods of time sitting or standing for work.
If you have a history of heart problems, it is important for the patient to consult with not only their chiropractor, but also their primary care physician or cardiologist to ensure that increased cardiovascular activities are safe.
In general, 20 – 40 minutes of exercise, including muscle strengthening and a cardio routine is desirable. Your chiropractor will be able to modify your existing routines or help to develop new exercises and routines that are appropriate for you.
Physical activity combined with chiropractic treatments helps ensure a safe, fast recovery. Call Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic Clinic to learn more!
Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic Clinic has several treatment options that are very effective for problems that cause knee pain
Acute Knee Injury
Acute injuries to the knee are usually the result of a trauma to the ligaments and cartilage through sports injury, accidents, and sometimes overuse: ligament sprains, tears, meniscus and cartilage injuries, patella dislocations, chondromalacia (runner’s knee) osteoarthritis. These kinds of “mechanical” injury can result in knee instability or almost complete immobility in the affected leg. These kinds of injury require a diagnosis to determine the extent of injury (usually requiring x-rays and an MRI) as well as pain management and rehabilitation.
While severe injuries likely require surgery, minor or moderate injuries can avoid surgery thanks to a multi-modal approach used at Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic Clinic.
Another common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis. While there is not a cure for osteoarthritis, the symptoms can be reduced and the progression slowed or stopped with a range of treatments at Surrey Pain & Wellness Clinic. Early treatment is also key to recovery so that inflamed joints do not progress from acute the acute phase to chronic.
As long as the knee joint does not become severely degenerated, surgery can be avoided. Mild to moderate degeneration in the knee joint can be dealt with by strengthening the surrounding muscles to protect the joint from being vulnerable to continued injury or inflammation.
What symbolizes hard work, has the thickest skin on the body and yet is the number one cause of pain in adults?
Answer: Your Amazing Back!
The spine is one of the most important parts of the body. Without it, we could not stand or even sit upright. The spine gives our body structure and support and carries the substantial weight of our head. The spine allows us to move about freely, bend and provides the upper and lower body with range of motion.
The spine is also designed to protect our spinal cord. The spinal cord is a column of nerves that connects our brain with the rest of our body, allowing us to control movement. Without the spinal cord, we could not move any part of our body, and the organs of the body simply could not function.
Keeping the spine healthy is vital if we are to live a healthy, active life. About 60 and 80% of all adults will suffer with back pain at some time in their life, and up to 10% of this group will develop chronic back pain.
Clearly there are many more serious questions on how to deal with chronic pain of any kind, but first it might be helpful to understand the anatomy of the back.
The structures of the back consists of the spine (vertebrae), the joints (facet joints), discs between the vertebrae in the spine and finally the muscles and ligaments that hold it all together.
The facet joints provide range of motion in the spine
The intervertebral discs work as shock absorbers
The back bone supports the body’s weight
The vertebrae protect the spinal cord from injury
It is possible for any of these structures to become injured. The most common injury is a sprain or strain of the ligaments and muscles – usually by a sudden movement or some repetitive strain .
A strain is a stretching injury of a muscle, while a sprain is the stretch or tear of a ligament.
When a disc becomes injured, it will bulge or even tear. If a tear in the disc is large enough, it can leak fluids onto the spinal nerve. This condition is known as a herniated or ruptureddisc.
Stiffness and pain caused by muscular strain is usually in the low back and can be felt when bending or twisting. Severe pain or pain that radiates into the calf or foot and is accompanied by numbness or tingling can be a sign of a pinched nerve caused by herniation of one of the discs.
Pain that originates in the low back (lumbarspine) and radiating down the back of the leg along the distribution of the sciatic nerve is called sciaticpain or sciatica.
Acute back pain is defined as back or back-related let pain which is severe enough to restrict activity for less than three months.
Chronic back pain is defined as that which restricts activity for longer than about three months.
For more information on your amazing back, understanding back pain and on chiropractic, contact Surrey Pain & Wellness Clinic.
You are not alone if you are frustrated with back and/or neck pain.
Can Spinal Decompression Therapy Help?
Only the common cold causes more people to miss work than neck and back pain. One of the services offered at Surrey Pain & Wellness Clinic is Spinal Decompression Therapy – a non surgical solution for people who suffer from low back and neck pain. When compared to standard surgical methods of curing back pain, spinal decompression offers many advantages:
1) Drug free – there are no medications required to participate in spinal decompression therapy treatments. In fact, if you are taking pain killers, muscle relaxants or anti inflammatory medications, your need for them should actually decrease.
2) Non invasive – and almost completely non-disruptive for the patient’s life. Depending on the type of surgery, would likely be bed-ridden or require a back brace for weeks. Spinal decompression therapy doesn’t require you to take long leave of absence from work or your other responsibilities at home or with your family. Instead, we work with you on a gradual return to your usual activities that you can enjoy pain free!
Treatments are pain free, and at no time should be painful or even uncomfortable. Some people even fall asleep during the treatment.
Once the computer traction device is set, the treatment begins with a very gentle progression towards a decompressive or what might feel like an anti-gravity state for your spine. While you are lying in a comfortable and relaxed position, the DTS system does its work, stretching and distracting the spinal column, creating a vacuum effect that decompresses the discs within the column. This vacuum effect can in many cases help retract or draw in the herniated disc that may be pinching the nerve. Most patients report this feels like a comfortable, gentle stretching sensation.
Patients should leave their spinal decompression therapy treatment (each session lasts around 20 minutes) feeling relaxed and refreshed and are able to go on about their day.
3) Recovery time – While most courses of treatment require 15 to 24 sessions, it is expected that you will have a dramatic reduction in pain within the first few sessions. It is advised that you continue with the full course as prescribed by your chiropractor in order to ensure that your spinal discs and the muscles that support them are stable enough to ensure long term results). When compared to surgical options, recovery time is often the same as surgery, but usually faster.
4) Cost - Many people have spent hundreds, even thousands of dollars on treatment and medication. Spinal decompression therapy treatments will also vary between practitioners, some costing several thousand dollars. While spinal decompression therapy is covered by most extended medical plans, call or visit our office so we can find a treatment plan that works for you – financially and for long term recovery.
As with any type of medical treatment, response rates and recovery times will vary from person to person – as well as between practitioners and equipment. Recovery takes time, but a focused treatment plan can help restore you to a fully functioning and pain-free lifestyle.
It is a good idea to consult with more than one chiropractor before deciding on a course of treatment. Many types of spinal rehabilitation therapies are relatively new and the possibility of success is far greater when you visit an experienced treatment-provider.
Let the Healing Begin…
Did you know that as primary health care providers, no referral is needed to see a chiropractic doctor?
If you have never visited a chiropractic doctor before, feel free to schedule an information session by calling 604.507.9929. There is no charge for this service.