Your spine is made up of 24 individual vertebra stacked on top of each other. To allow for flexibility and movement, there is a cushion, or “disc,” in between each pair of vertebra. As we age, these discs can wear, becoming progressively thinner over time. This leads to a cycle of arthritic changes, including bone spurs and narrowing of the opening where our nerves exit the spine. Sometimes your nerves can become “pinched” in these narrowed openings. Spinal Degeneration is exceptionally common, affecting people as young as 20 and becoming extremely likely by age 70. How quickly you develop arthritis is largely genetic. Other factors include a history of trauma, smoking continually operating motorized vehicles, being overweight and/or performing repetitive movements.
Symptoms include pain or stiffness in your neck or back. Sometimes, symptoms can radiate into your arms or legs. Most researchers believe the symptoms of osteoarthritis are not the direct result of the disease, but rather, from the conditions preceding the disease and those that developed subsequent to it, like joint restrictions and muscle tightness.
Getting you back to normal as soon as possible is our number one goal. To do that, we will likely recommend one or more of the following:
- Joint manipulation to gently restore movement to your spine.
- Therapy modalities to ease your muscle tightness, pain and swelling.
- Myofascial release to remove your longstanding tightness.
- Therapeutic stretching to restore your flexibility.