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If you're struggling with a mysterious case of lower back pain, neck pain, and neurological symptoms in the upper or lower extremities, you may be one of the many Americans who suffer from degenerative disc disease. This problem, which stems from disc wear and tears in the spinal column, can be downright debilitating, but you most likely don't need to undergo surgery to tame it. Instead, trust the natural, non-surgical treatment options available here at First Chiropractic in Austin TX.
Contrary to its name degenerative disc disease isn't really a disease at all. Instead, it's a disorder brought about by deterioration or damage in the cartilaginous discs nestled between the vertebrae. Normally, these discs cushion the spine against shocks while also providing just the right amount of space between vertebrae for the facet joints, which connect and articulate those vertebrae. Typically, aging discs lose some of their water content, causing them to shrink, collapse, and bulge outward. This places stress on the facet joints, causing pain and stiffness.
Bulging discs may also herniate as the compression causes the outer casing of the disc to weaken and protrude onto nearby nerve roots. This can cause neck pain, upper or lower back pain, sciatica (tingling, pain, weakness or loss of sensation in the legs) or cervical radiculopathy (similar neurological symptoms to sciatica, but in the arms). These disc problems can cause or worsen other spinal issues, including spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis if you let them go untreated.
The good news is that surgery is usually reserved as a last resort for issues caused by degenerative disc disease. Our Austin chiropractor, Dr. Wottrich, will take digital X-rays of your spine and study your spinal alignment to isolate the origin point of your pain. We can then prescribe a holistic treatment plan that integrates multiple therapeutic techniques. Chiropractic adjustments can help normalize any imbalances that are encouraging your disc problems. Spinal decompression is a safe, painless way to gently create additional space between vertebrae; this draws herniated discs away from nerve tissues and "plumps up" bulging discs with much-needed fluids, easing facet joint strain. You may also benefit from exercises to strengthen your neck and back, permitting a straighter, healthier posture for more normal disc and nerve function.
Don't let degenerative disc disease cause your quality of life to degenerate. Call First Chiropractic at 512-448-1012 to schedule an evaluation so we can find the ideal combination of treatments to get you feeling better!
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