By the age of fifty, 85 percent of the population will show evidence of disc degeneration. The vast majority of these cases are asymptomatic. Although it is commonly referred to as a side effect of aging, it has more to do with incorrect function or posture than with your age.
Your discs are the cushions between your vertebrae that allow your spine much of the flexibility it has. Performing repetitive movements with incorrect posture is a common way to cause Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD). When the discs are stressed and placed in an improper position it begins to wear the discs down. Since they have very limited blood flow it is difficult for them to repair from this trauma.
When we work and live with incorrect posture we begin to develop postural distortion patterns. You have often heard that lifting incorrectly is bad for you. This is not because lifting one time incorrectly causes major damage, however, when lifting incorrectly repetitively you begin to damage the discs and surrounding structures. It is most often noticed though one time when lifting and a large pain is felt in the lower back, making it difficult to stand or walk. It’s not just about lifting heavy machinery for this to happen. Improper lifting of lighter objects such as children, heavy purses, groceries, or any object that is over 5 pounds can also be affecting the function of your spine. This was a compound effect of many years of damage being placed on the spine from lifting incorrectly.
How do you know if you are starting to develop this postural distortion pattern that may be leading to Degenerative Disc Disease? Common symptoms include chronic low back pain with or without radiation to the hips or aching pain in the buttocks and or the backs of the thighs may be seen with walking. Other symptoms include pain generally made worse with sitting, bending, lifting and twisting. To determine if DDD is causing you or a loved one their back pain give Sycamore Valley Chiropractic a call.
By Dr. Jesse Call, Sycamore Valley Chiropractic