Tag Archives: degenerative disc disease treatment sf

Degenerative Disc Disease…What Causes It?

treatment for disc disease san francisco
Degenerated Lumbar Spine and Discs

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) for the most part is the result of abnormal wear and tear of the spinal discs in the lumbar and cervical spine. This is usually the result of misalignment’s in the spine.

There is an optimum alignment for the spine. When the spine is in this alignment there are normal stresses on the spinal joints and discs. When the spine is out of alignment the forces on the discs increase. Over time, these abnormal forces wear down the disc prematurely leading to disc degeneration, disc bulges, and disc herniations.

It’s kind of like the alignment of the front end of your car. When your front end is in proper alignment, your tires wear evenly and are better able to express their useful life. If your front end is out of alignment the tires will wear abnormally…same with your spine and vertebral discs.

Many consider spinal and disc degeneration to be part of the normal aging process. I beg to differ. Sure, degenerative disc disease is common…just like heart disease…but it’s not normal.

Our bodies are simply not designed to do the things we ask it to do day in and day out…like sitting in front of a computer for 12 hours a day. Or commuting in a car, train, or bus for many hours per day…or traveling on airplanes all over the place.

Add sports to the mix and mental stress from living in a stressful world (stress causes muscle tension and puts stress on bones and discs), poor posture, bad sleeping habits and ergonomics, and sure…it’s a miracle when you do see a spine in it’s proper alignment.

That is of course unless it’s the spine of a patient that incorporates regular chiropractic adjustments into their lifestyle. Chiropractic adjustments are the counter-balance to the stresses of modern day living and can add useful life to your spinal joints and discs.

So sure…spinal degeneration and disc degeneration are common…but lets not re-define normal. What’s normal is your natural state…not the degenerative state that occurs from man made forces if you just let it happen.

You don’t just continue to drive your car around when you feel it is out of alignment…and you shouldn’t with your spine either.

This is one of the reasons chiropractic is the worlds largest, drug-less, healing profession.

Chiropractic is not just about treating back or neck pain…or knee pain…or carpal tunnel. Sure, it does a  great job treating musculoskeletal injuries…but chiropractic can also extend the useful life of your spine…and your spine is the center of life.

Did you know the brain and spinal cord are the only organ (the spinal cord is an extension of the brain) in the body completely encased by bone? That’s how vital to life the spine is…it protects that which controls all bodily functions.

A healthy spine will go a long way when it comes to expressing life to it’s fullest…and regular chiropractic adjustments should be the main tool in your “healthy spine toolbox”.

Dr. Eben Davis is clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic in downtown San Francisco. To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors call 415-392-2225.

Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Is Degenerative Disc Disease Hereditary?

When a back pain patient with degenerative disc disease first sees their own x-rays, they often ask “is that really me…how did that happen?”  The next question is usually “can disc degeneration be hereditary?”  These are both very good questions.

treatment for disc disease san francisco
Disc and Spine Degeneration with Schmorl's nodes

In my opinion, degenerative disc disease is mostly the result of abnormal wear and tear on the spinal discs from misalignment’s (what chiropractors call vertebral subluxations) of the spine.  Just like the tread on a tire wears uneven when the front of a car is out of alignment.  Secondary to vertebral subluxation is an unhealthy lifestyle.

The same poor lifestyle choices that lead to diseases of excess, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes, can cause spinal degeneration. After-all, the spine, discs, muscles, ligaments and tendons are all living tissue. Living tissue thrives within the healthy (internal) context created by clean living and plenty of exercise.

I do believe there is a hereditary component to degenerative disc disease.  But at the same time, I think that switch can be turned off with a healthy lifestyle and proper care of the spine with regular exercise and chiropractic adjustments.

Disc degeneration is also progressive. As long as the conditions are in place for spinal degeneration to occur, it will pick up steam and move forward…doing most of it’s damage after age 40.

Can spinal disc degeneration be stopped, slowed, or reversed?

A certain amount of wear and tear to the intervertebral disc is going to happen as we age no matter what we do.  But it my opinion, we can dramatically slow down the degenerative process with proper spinal care and lifestyle modifications…especially diet and exercise. The diet I prefer is a plant based diet, and my best resources are  Dr. John McDougall MD and Jill Nussinow, RD.

If anything, children tend to take on the habits (good and bad) of their parents into adulthood. These habits either steer them in the direction of health or illness…including degenerative disc disease.

My advice…find yourself a good chiropractor that understands nutrition and exercise (not all of them do) that can help you put the brakes on your DDD. If you are willing to make changes for the better, you can live a long, healthy, active life even with advanced disc disease…Really!

Dr. Eben Davis is clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic in downtown San Francisco. To schedule a complimentary consultation call 415-392-2225.

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Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

I have been providing treatment for degenerative disc disease in San Francisco for almost 20 years now in the Financial District. So I consider myself an expert.

Eben Davis Chiropractor
Dr. Eben Davis reading x-rays

Most experts opine that a certain amount of disc degeneration is a normal part of the aging process…and so do I. However, our spinal discs are living tissue and thus thrive and function at optimum levels when the conditions are right.

The inter-vertebral discs have two primary functions:

  1. Function as a ligament to hold the vertebrae above and below together while giving the spine flexibility.
  2. Act as a shock absorber for normal spine and body motion.

In order for a spinal disc to remain healthy, the bones it holds together need to be able to move through their normal ranges of motion. Discs are avascular by design, so they have no direct blood supply…but at the same time, in order to be healthy, they need to receive nutrients from the blood and pass waste products. This process occurs with spinal motion. It actually has it’s own name “Imbibition”.

When the bones of the spine lose their normal alignment from poor posture, sports injuries, auto accidents, physical demands, stresses of life, whatever…it sets the stage for degenerative disc disease and spinal degeneration.

Just like when your car is out of alignment it sets the stage for your tires to wear abnormally. We are talking about living tissue though…so there’s more to it.

If this process occurs inside an unhealthy body…say someone that smokes, has a poor diet, and other bad habits…well, just like other diseases of excess, it can make your spinal degeneration and disc disease worse. After-all, conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, are mostly the result of poor lifestyle choices resulting in degenerative processes to organ tissue. The discs of the spine live inside the body too…and they prefer a clean house.

There is also a hereditary component to degeneration of the discs. This is controversial but recent research suggest it’s true.

In any case, depending on how much the discs have degenerated…the patients age, over-all health and lifestyle…disc degeneration can be treated. In fact, chiropractors have great success treating degenerative disc disease.

At our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center we use a combination of chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression therapy, deep tissue laser, and exercise to manage spine and disc degeneration. We also help patients make better lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise. I prefer a plant based diet.

So yes, degeneration of the spine and disc degeneration is treatable. We can often stop the degenerative process in it’s tracks and even reverse some of the damage that has already been done. I never pre-judge what is possible, because I have seen some amazing changes on x-ray.

So…if you are looking for disc disease treatment in San Francisco, and would like to talk about your back condition or neck pain….we would love to meet with you.

Simply call our Spinal Decompression Clinic in San Francisco at 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

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Scott Calzaretta

Chiro-Medical Group is an innovative collaboration of health care professionals who work together as a team to promote optimal health. Our group includes experts in the fields of medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, nutrition, and personal athletic training.

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