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Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)


You’ve probably heard many times that your spine degenerates and that you’ve got degenerative disc disease (DDD). Usually by your chiropractor, but do you really know what it means and how it’s impacting your body? More importantly, should you worry about it?

The cause of Degenerative disc disease

Our spines are the anchor of our bodies. Due to the stability and flexibility, it provides the body, we put it in all sorts of weird positions. Even though we can do something like that it doesn’t mean we should. By putting our bodies in those weird positions, there will be extra stress on our spine. This makes our brains think that we are unstable. In order to stabilize the spine, the body will decide to lay more bone in the areas that feel weak and wobbly. Depending on where the bone is laid you’ll see different things on the x-ray. If the body decides to lay bone on the vertebral body, you’ll see bony spurs or prominence on the x-ray. If the body feels there needs to be extra stability in the facet joints, you’ll most likely see blurry facet joints behind the vertebral body (facet arthrosis). Of course, these are extremely difficult to see to the untrained eyes.

Symptoms of Degenerative disc disease

Quite often you may not feel any symptoms from Degenerative Disc Disease. However, that does not mean it’s ok and functioning properly. As extra bone is laid on, weight distribution around the spine changes, this can lead to even more degeneration. Another minor symptom would be the reduction in the range of motion. This reduction can be very minor which is barely noticeable to struggling to turn your head even by a couple of degrees. This is dependent on the level of the DDD. In some severe cases, DDD can cause numbness and tingling can be running down the extremities. This is due to the extra bone interfering with the nerves. In very severe cases of DDD, it can lead to bone fusion. This means that the vertebra has connected with the one above. As the bones are laid down to create stability, the one the true way it could do that is to connect with the one above or below. Once this happens, the range of motion will be significantly reduced in that joint. Fortunately, that only occurs in the rarest and most severe of cases.

What can be done?

Everyone at some time is bound to get some level of DDD in your spine. Whether it minor levels or severe levels it doesn’t really matter. Of course, there are symptoms you should worry about but even getting to numbness and tingling is very rare. There really is nothing to be too worried about DDD. It’s just an accurate reflection of how much care you’ve taken in regards to your spine. The more care there is the less likely you’ll suffer from DDD. Even if you do have DDD, there is nothing that can be done about it. You can remove them surgically but that is highly not recommended unless it becomes very severe. A chiropractor definitely does not reverse DDD, a chiropractor can help slow down DDD if you have it and if you don’t, it’s a great way to prevent yourself from getting DDD. Remember, DDD is just a visual cue to seeing what your spinal health is like.


DDD is probably the most common spinal condition. Just because it’s common doesn’t mean you should worry about it. It just a reflection on how well you’ve taken care of your spine. The more care you take by keeping a good posture, the less significant it’ll be. As a result, there will be fewer symptoms caused by it too. So go to your chiropractor and take care of your spine to prevent DDD in the future.

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