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Preserving Your Spine's Spring: A Chiropractor's Perspective

Im spine how are youAs a chiropractor, one of the most intriguing aspects of my practice is analyzing x-rays and observing the aging process in action. When patients come in for care, I use x-rays not only to confirm my findings through palpation, but also to identify any obstacles to performing adjustments. Furthermore, I delve deeper to identify areas of the spine that may be aging more rapidly or experiencing increased stress. While it’s natural for the spine to age, it’s not normal for certain areas to age faster and manifest as reduced disc spaces or changes in bone structure.

These areas are losing their spring!

Changes in Bone

Bone spurs, which grow from the edges of the vertebrae, can be one manifestation of bone changes. These spurs act like arms that attempt to connect and stabilize an area. Another indication of bone changes is the elongation of the vertebrae at the endplates (top or bottom of the vertebra), which is often the beginning of disc degeneration.

Additionally, the endplates may become denser on x-ray as a response to stress, with the body producing more bone in certain areas to strengthen them.

Phases of Disc Degeneration

Disc degeneration can occur in several phases. The initial phase, which I refer to as “cupping” of the disc, is characterized by the formation of a cup-like shape on the top, bottom, or both sides of the vertebrae, resulting in increased pressure. Another phase occurs when the vertebrae elongate, causing the disc to become compressed and lose height due to excessive pressure. As a chiropractor, identifying these signs is crucial in directing care to the areas that need it the most.

Offering Solutions

I may be biased, but I believe that the best way to prevent, slow down, or even improve the degenerative process is through regular chiropractic care. I often use the analogy of aligning a tire to illustrate this point. Just like misaligned tires wear out faster, spines that are misaligned or under stress tend to age more rapidly. Regular alignments through chiropractic care can help maintain even wear and reduce the risk of developing trouble spots that show signs of accelerated aging. It’s important to start care before significant problems arise, so I urge younger individuals to be aware of how the aging process can affect their spine.

Once the degenerative processes have begun, regular chiropractic visits can potentially slow down the rapid degeneration in affected areas, allowing individuals to get more mileage out of their spines. The ultimate goal of chiropractic care is to enable individuals to lead lives with greater mobility and activity. Many of us only realize the value of chiropractic care after making mistakes, so I encourage you to spread the word about the benefits of chiropractic care in preserving your spine’s spring and overall well-being.


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