Spinal discs are the shock absorbers between the bones, or vertebrae, of your spine. The discs have a tough outer ring and a jelly-like center. Their job is to help us move, bend, and twist while absorbing the weight of gravity. But, over time, our spinal discs can become degenerative. Injuries, aging, and the effects of gravity all contribute to disc degeneration. The good news is that degenerative discs rarely cause pain unless they budge or herniate, placing pressure on the spinal nerves. A combination of chiropractic care and staying well-hydrated are two ways to keep your spinal discs healthy and pain-free. A well-hydrated disc can more easily adapt to movement and is less prone to injury. But, don’t forget to stay active between your adjustments. And here is one more tip to slow down Father Time- daily exercise and stretching. Exercise and stretching will not only keep you fit and trim but can also potentially slow down the degenerative changes of your spine keeping you healthy and active for many years to come! Movement helps bring nutrients into the disc and pushes out waste and inflammation; helping them stay healthy. Pinched nerves are another common complaint we see in our office. They are not exactly what most people would call a good time. A pinched or compressed nerve can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm or leg. It can be debilitating! When the nerves are leaving your spinal column they have very little protection. And if a disc, ligament, or bone spur get near a nerve…ouch! The pain can start there and then travel the entire length of that nerve root resulting in pain that radiates into your arms and legs. The good news is you can experience a lot of relief by taking the pressure off the nerves. Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments can help reduce the pinching or compression on those delicate nerve roots. And with less pressure on the nerve, you can finally find relief. Adjustments gently open the holes, or canals, of your spine, thereby decreasing the pressure on the nerves to help you function and feel better! Your entire life is experienced through your nervous system- every thought, heartbeat, memory, movement and action. Top researchers have found that specific movements of the spine, including the motion that happens during a chiropractic adjustment, can provide a multitude of benefits to your brain and nervous system. Adjustments activate the nerves that detect and sense motion. When those nerves are activated, it stops (or gates) the nerves that deliver pain signals. That is one of the reasons why adjustments provide pain relief. They literally “turn off” the pain sensors! Perhaps even more exciting is the emerging research that has shown adjustments can increase cortical drive. That's a fancy way of saying researchers have found adjustments can make you stronger. Just another reason to call today and book your next appointment! Sources: The Effect of Sustained Compression on Oxygen Metabolic Transport in the Intervertebral Disc Decreases with Degenerative Changes. Computational Biology 2011 Running exercise strengthens the intervertebral disc. Scientific Reports 2017 Effects of side-posture positioning and side-posture adjusting on the lumbar zygapophysial joints as evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging: a before and after study with randomization. JMPT 2000. Neurophysiological effects of spinal manipulation. The Spine Journal 2002. Cervical radiculopathy: a systematic review on treatment by spinal manipulation and measurement with the Neck Disability Index. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association 2012. Symptomatic, MRI Confirmed, Lumbar Disc Herniations: A Comparison of Outcomes Depending on the Type and Anatomical Axial Location of the Hernia in Patients Treated With High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude Spinal Manipulation. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2016.