Degenerative Disc Disease: What Is It & Can Chiropractic Care Help?

If you’ve experienced back pain in your life and done some research into your symptoms, you’ve undoubtedly come across the alliterative term Degenerative Disc Disease. Degenerative Disc Disease or DDD is a somewhat controversial diagnosis and one that can confuse patients, as well as lead to disagreements between medical professionals.

In this article, we will give some background on Degenerative Disc Disease and discuss how chiropractic care can ease the symptoms of this condition.


What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

For our purposes, we will define Degenerative Disc Disease as the breakdown of the padding between segments of the spine. This breakdown occurs, to some extent, in everyone. Certain individuals may experience faster degeneration than others due to a variety of risk factors including:

  • Smoking;
  • Poor posture;
  • Obesity;
  • Highly active lifestyle;
  • Weakness in core musculature.

But as we hinted in the introduction, there is some controversy regarding DDD. 


Why is DDD a Controversial Diagnosis?

The main issue with a diagnosis of Degenerative Disc Disease is due to the name of the disorder itself. 

When one thinks of a disease, one usually thinks of a condition such as cancer. Generally, without intervention of some kind, diseases like cancer will continue to grow until the body is no longer able to complete its normal functions.

But degenerative disc disease is considered to be a normal aspect of aging. Everyone will have some level of disc degeneration in life. 

Beyond the misclassification of DDD as a disease, there are few consistent diagnostic criteria that can be used to identify a patient with DDD. Medical professionals will use all sorts of different cut-offs and data when diagnosing someone with this condition, creating even more confusion around an already unclear area of research.


What Can Be Done About DDD?

Even though DDD may be a normal process of aging, there is still often pain associated with the condition. Luckily, there are some tried and true ways to ease DDD symptoms.


Chiropractic Care for Degenerative Disc Disease

In terms of traditional, western approaches to DDD (or really most conditions, for that matter), doctors will often only consider one or both of the following treatment options:

  1. Surgery.
  2. Medication.

There may be cases where one or both of these options are warranted, but often, patients can achieve relief of symptoms through more natural methods. In most cases, surgery can’t be undone, so it’s always important to try other options first. 

One of the best and most effective non-surgical/non-medicinal treatment options is chiropractic care.

Chiropractors will begin by assessing the patient with DDD holistically. The patient interview and examination will involve a deep exploration of dietary habits, posture, spinal alignment, and many other components of health.

Once the chiropractor has collected all of this data through examination, she will then develop an individualized treatment plan for the patient in question.

Said treatment plan will consist of a combination of modalities that may include the following:

  • Spinal adjustment;
  • Traction;
  • Heat or ice;
  • Massage;
  • Exercise.

Of course, there are many other tools and treatment options that your chiropractor may also consider throughout your plan of care. 

As with any condition or symptoms a patient experiences: every case is unique. Because of this, no two plans of care will be alike.


Keystone Chiropractic: Your Chiropractors in Plano, TX

Have you been experiencing back or neck pain? Were you diagnosed with DDD? Don’t despair! 

Keystone Chiropractic is here to help with any and all of your health needs. Whether your pain is from DDD, a pulled muscle, a traumatic injury, or something else entirely; we’ll get you back in action. Book your appointment today!