Have you been told you have spinal arthritis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis or spinal degeneration? It doesn’t matter what you call it, they all mean very similar things. Your joints are worn. Scary names for a condition that is quite common. In fact, lumbar (low back) arthritis is quite common and may be prevalent in 40-85% of people! I certainly agree that it is quite common, as I have many patients with spinal arthritis. However, just because something is common (think high blood pressure, cancers, etc.) doesn’t mean it is normal. Your health is everything – don’t throw in the towel – seek out help!
There are a variety of symptoms you may experience either daily or from time to time:
The number one cause of disability in North America is arthritis. This means that people who suffer from spinal arthritis are not enjoying their lives. We have seen thousands of patients in our Newmarket chiropractic clinic over the years. Almost every adult patient we have seen has a goal of improving their quality of life. Decreasing pain, increasing range of motion, and getting back to the things that make them happy are priority.
Not so fast. Research shows there is little correlation on the severity of spinal degeneration and pain. Some people with advanced spinal arthritis may have very little pain, while others with minor degeneration may have significant discomfort. Heck, even children can have spinal arthritis. Treatment should be aimed at restoring spinal alignment, strength, and range of motion, even with those who have little to no pain. Pain is usually due to the underlying inflammation associated with the damaged joints.
Poor posture, past injuries, and even genetics are among the things that can play a role. One of the most common things we see in our office is best explained using an analogy. Suppose you drive your car with tires out of alignment. What happens? The tires wear down unevenly. Your car (body) vibrates. Your fuel economy decreases. The car then begins to fall apart…OK maybe not. But, if your body and spine is out of alignment then the same thing will happen to you. Your joints will start to wear down (neck, back, hips, or knees). Your body will be unbalanced. Then your energy will decrease as your body constantly tries to keep you centered. You will eventually have pain. And your quality of life will decrease.
Most people will have had developing spinal arthritis well before they new about it (no pain in the beginning). Just like other conditions you cannot feel until they have been there a long time (cancer, high cholesterol, etc.), the same is true for degeneration. Trying to improve the spine and stop the process of degeneration can also take time – time well worth it considering the alternative I would think.
Just because something is common, doesn’t mean it is normal. High blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer has become common. Use every available option today to take control of your spinal arthritis, don’t let it control you – you will be happier and healthier.
Your effort will be well worth it,