Inside the body, the spine allows it to move around and do all sorts of things without pain. The spine is protected by ligaments, soft tissue from the musculoskeletal system, spinal discs, and the spinal cord in an S-shaped curve that holds the body together. When the back gets injured or pulls a muscle, it can cause unwanted back issues that can cause a person to be in pain. When this happens, the individual suffering from back pain will be hindered from their daily activities and be miserable if it is not treated right away. Luckily, treatments like spinal decompression therapy can help alleviate back pains and other issues that affect the body’s back and spine. In this article, we will be looking at what DDD is, its symptoms, and how spinal decompression can help relieve DDD. By referring patients to qualified and skilled providers specializing in spinal decompression therapy. To that end, and when appropriate, we advise our patients to refer to our associated medical providers based on their examination. We find that education is the key to asking valuable questions to our providers. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Can my insurance cover it? Yes, it may. If you are uncertain, here is the link to all the insurance providers we cover. If you have any questions, please call Dr. Jimenez at 915-850-0900.
What Is DDD?
Since low back pain is common for many individuals worldwide, some of the causes of low back pain are DDD or degenerative disc disease. Research studies show that DDD (degenerative disc disease) usually happens when the spinal discs start to wear down naturally due to age. The spinal disc is a rubbery cushion between the spine’s vertebrae, and they help people move comfortably. When the spinal disc starts to wear and tear naturally through age, it can cause the vertebrae to rub against each other and cause pain.
Other research studies have found that DDD is often misunderstood since the symptoms affect either the neck or the back, causing sudden shooting pain in the arms or legs. DDD can also progress over time if it is not treated right away, causing the individual to be in pain and can make them unstable. Research studies have found that the two main factors of DDD are inflammation and abnormal micro-motion instability. How inflammation plays in DDD is that the inflammatory proteins from the spinal disc interiors are leaked when degeneration affects the spinal disc and causes swelling around the spinal structure. Abnormal micro-motion instability starts to affect the spinal discs’ outer layer by causing small, unnatural motions in-between the vertebrae, thus causing irritation and tension to the surrounding muscles, joints, and nerve roots, making the person become unstable and be in more pain.
The Symptoms Of DDD
Research studies have shown that when DDD affects the spine, it also affects the nervous system surrounding the spinal disc. DDD also causes structural failure, a radial tear in the annulus fibrosis, herniated disc, and calcification to the endplate of the spine. Since flare-up pains and abnormal stress on the spine can be due to recent activities or suddenly come up for no apparent reason, research studies have shown that pain episodes from DDD can last between a few days to several weeks before going back to be low-level back pain. Some of the common symptoms of DDD can include:
- Increased pain from lifting heavy objects, bending or twisting the spine
- A “give out” sensation on the spine
- Muscle tension
- Sudden sharp, radiating pain from the cervical or lumbar parts of the spine
- Increased pain from holding a position for too long
Spinal Decompression Therapy & DDD-Video
The video above shows how spinal decompression can help alleviate DDD (degenerative disc disease). Spinal decompression therapy is utilized for many individuals suffering from chronic back issues like DDD, herniated disc, and low back pain. What spinal decompression therapy does is that it allows the individual to lay on a traction table and start to gently stretch their spine to relieve any issues that were causing back pain. The beneficial nutrients are reabsorbed into the spinal disc when the spine is gently pulled. The individual will begin to feel instant relief after a couple of sessions. If you want to learn more about spinal decompression therapy, this link will explain the benefits of spinal decompression and how it can alleviate low back pain symptoms.
How Spinal Decompression Therapy Relieves DDD
Many treatments help alleviate DDD symptoms and chronic low back pain as they provide relief to many individuals. One of the treatments that have been getting attention is spinal decompression therapy. Research studies have shown that many individuals suffering from DDD utilize non-surgical spinal decompression therapy to reduce pain and cause an increase in spinal disc height. This will allow the compressed spinal disc to be decompressed and improve disc health. Other research studies have also shown that since the degenerative process and mechanical effects of DDD can affect the spine, spinal decompression therapy allows traction to reduce the pressure off the spinal disc by gravity and soft tissue, enabling sufficient tension to extend spinal separation and the intervertebral disc. Spinal decompression also allows negative pressure within the intervertebral disc by increasing its hydration and reducing pressure off the nerve root.
The spine is an S-shaped curve protected by ligaments, soft tissue from the musculoskeletal system, the spinal discs, and the spinal cord allowing it to hold the body together. The body is home to the spine, where it can move around without feeling any sort of pain. When a person injures their back or pulls a muscle, it can cause unwanted back issues to hinder them from doing various daily activities. Sometimes the spinal disc wear and tear naturally causes symptoms like a herniated disc or DDD (degenerative disc disease) to affect the spine and the back by causing sharp, shooting radiate pain to affect the body. Luckily, treatments like spinal decompression therapy alleviate these symptoms by gently stretching the spine and causing instant relief to the individual.
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Choi, Jioun, et al. “Influences of Spinal Decompression Therapy and General Traction Therapy on the Pain, Disability, and Straight Leg Raising of Patients with Intervertebral Disc Herniation.” Journal of Physical Therapy Science, The Society of Physical Therapy Science, Feb. 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339166/.
Choi, Yong-Soo. “Pathophysiology of Degenerative Disc Disease.” Asian Spine Journal, Korean Society of Spine Surgery, June 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2852042/.
McHugh, Brian. “Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease Pain.” Spine, Spine-Health, 13 Dec. 2017, https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/causes-degenerative-disc-disease-pain.
McHugh, Brian. “Common Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease.” Spine, Spine-Health, 13 Dec. 2017, https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/common-symptoms-degenerative-disc-disease.
McHugh, Brian. “What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?” Spine, Spine-Health, 13 Dec. 2017, https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/what-degenerative-disc-disease.
Medical Professionals, Cleveland Clinic. “Degenerative Disk Disease: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic, 27 May 2021, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16912-degenerative-disk-disease.
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The information herein on "How Spinal Decompression Therapy Relieves DDD" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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