When trauma is subjected onto the bones in the spine, they may misalign which could subsequently affect other structures around the region. Some of these structures include:
Intervertebral discs, nerves and surrounding muscles.
If the trauma or injury is recent, it is considered acute. There will be significant swelling and pain. If it has already occurred for some time, it is considered chronic. It may reduce in pain intensity and swelling but more stiffness may be noted.
There are several stages of disc degeneration:
As the bones misalign in a certain direction, it damages the fibres of the discs causing tears and micro trauma. It will then swell up in order to protect itself from further misalignment. This swelling causes pain, restricted movement and if the swelling is very significant, it may even affect the nerves which exit at that particular spinal level. The surrounding muscles will also tense up as a result.
After an injury, the disc swells up and the spine becomes immobile. The disc is unable to receive surrounding nutrients from the natural pumping action of the spine when moving around in our daily lives. As time goes by, the disc dehydrates more and more resulting in a thinner and a more chronic disc.
As disc height reduces, changes in the overall structure of the spine will also occur. Uneven weight distribution will result in progressive wear and tear leading to arthritic changes. As the years go by, osteophytes A.K.A bone spurs will start to form due to the reduced structural integrity of the spine.
What can chiropractic do for you?
After a thorough examination from our qualified chiropractors supplemented with a full spine X-ray, a specific adjustment to a misaligned segment will allow the bone to be repositioned to it’s optimal position. This will reduce the pressure onto the disc below and the disc will be able to resume its natural pumping action, thus regaining its height.