Degenerative Disc Disease refers to the degenerative process that occurs to our vertebral discs as we age. Over time, our discs lose elasticity and become more rigid. Degenerative Disc Disease limits range of motion and can irritate nearby nerves. As the discs become thinner, the foraminal openings for neighboring nerve roots become smaller – leading to painful nerve compression.
The spine performs many rigorous tasks for the body. The weight-bearing support it provides puts a lot of stress on the vertebra and the discs in between them. This sort of wear-and-tear is why our discs gradually degenerate over time.
Diagnosing Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) starts with an initial exam followed by shooting X-ray images of your spinal column. The doctor will review the films and compare the thickness of the inter-vertebral discs to determine if you have DDD.
You can start by being proactive about maintaining the integrity of your spine and nervous system. Chiropractic care can help ensure that your spine is structurally and bio-mechanically sound – minimizing any excessive wear-and-tear on the discs.
As with all things related to healthy aging, eating right, reducing stress, and staying active is very important as well.