Many patients come into my office after weeks, months and even years of being in pain and this is what they often tell me.
I thought it would go away on its own........
The pain they are feeling does not go away because the source is disc compression.
When the disc is compressed then the pain will remain until the pressure is taken away.
The compression can result from various activities...... Activities such as prolonged sitting, excessive heavy weight and high repetition exercises such as heavy back squats, heavy deadlifts, jobs or activities that cause a person to be in a forward bending position, such as construction jobs, farmers, gardening, truck drivers.
Office workers who sit most of the day are more predisposed to excessive time in a seated position which increased loading on the spinal discs significantly compared to lying or standing or walking.
Over time the disc cannot handle the loading and they begin to become dehydrated. They are not receiving enough water, oxygen or nutrients. The discs are mainly avascular tissues, meaning they do not have a direct blood supply. They receive their blood mainly through a structure on the bones above and below the discs via motion. This motion is referred to as spinal imbibition. Think of it like a little pump. The pump allows the disc to receive water, oxygen and vital nutrients such as glucose through the blood it receives from the spinal vertebrae (back bones).
Here is the problem however, when the disc is compressed and is not receiving proper motion and mobility, that little pump system shuts off and the disc is then begins degenerating at a advanced rate which then leads to further disc injuries and issues such as disc bulges, disc herniations, disc protrusions, sciatica, etc.
Progressive nutrient transport disruptions may actively contribute in advancing the phases of degenerative disk disease. Such disruptions include dysfunctional loading and spinal position, lack of motion, high frequency loading, disk injury, aging, smoking, an acidic environment, and a lack of nutrient bioavailability.
So we address degenerative disc disease by utilizing something called NSSD, Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression. The spinal decompression allows the discs to once again receive water, oxygen and nutrients and unload the pressure that is being exerted on the disc, taking the disc off of the nerves and lowering the pain levels. We then create spinal stabilization by utilizing specific spinal stability exercises to prevent the pain from reoccurring.