According to the US Department of Health and Human Services: “80% of the US population suffers from back pain at least once in their life time” and for many it becomes a chronic condition and that: “Americans spend at least $50 billion each year to treat back pain.”
The definition of normal according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”
So many may argue that it’s a normal part of aging to have back pain.
I hear things all the time like, “What do expect doc I’m getting old” or “Well, what do you expect, I worked hard my whole life”, and my favorite “What Golden Years? More like the Rusting Years!”
We know that, the most common cause of chronic lower back pain is from a progressive condition known as degenerative disc disease. What happens is the disc a soft spongy ligament in between each bone in your spine that cushions your spine starts to wear out and deteriorate. This then continues to get worse and worse over time and causes more stress on the other spinal ligaments. Your body responds to this abnormal stress by laying down calcium which results in the formation of bone spurs. These spurs can then sometimes get so large they put pressure on your spinal nerves and/or your spinal cord and can cause permanent nerve damage.
What causes this process of disc degeneration?
Many incorrectly believe that it’s a ‘normal’ part of aging and while around the 6th or 7th decade of one’s life some minimal amount of degeneration starts due to the effects of gravity. However, this is a very slow and even process on all the discs in your spine. Yet there are numerous x-ray’s, CAT scans, and MRI’s documenting disc degeneration very severely in only a single or a few discs and in people as early as in their twenties.
So what causes this?
Let’s look at from a different perspective so it’s much easier to understand. Let’s say, I put up one of those white picket fences (that for some reason that I’m not quite sure of, we’re all supposed to have) and of course there is a gate in the front of it. The gate has metal hinges so it can open and close. As long as they are in alignment they will open and close indefinitely with little to no wear and tear. However, let’s say my daughter one day accidentally crashes her bicycle into the gate and slightly knocks the gate off its proper alignment. What will happen eventually to the gate and it’s hinges?
The hinges will start having abnormal stress put on them because they are no longer in their proper alignment and this will cause them to start to wear out unevenly and prematurely. This will in turn, effect the gate’s functioning and will get worse and worse with everyday use and eventually the hinges will begin to rust and eventually they break.
This is essentially the same thing that can happen to your spine. As long as your spine’s bones are in alignment they can move with little to no wear and tear but when things such as; traumas, repetitive motion injuries, poor posture, and bad ergonomics cause the bones in your spine to become misaligned this then puts abnormal pressure on your discs, ligaments, and the surrounding nerves and if not corrected, over time this abnormal alignment starts to cause the disc and joints to wear out unevenly and prematurely and this will in turn effects your spine’s functioning. This will get worse and worse and eventually you will develop bone spurs.
Chiropractic care analyses your spine to find if any misalignments are there and through a series of adjustments over time corrects these abnormal spinal misalignments that are causing nerve pressure called subluxations and depending on, when and if caught in time, can either slow down, stop, or even reverse this degeneration.
So if you want to be ‘normal’ and be like the 80% of the population that has back pain and end up with degenerative disc disease simply keep ignoring your spine and covering up your symptoms such as back pain, neck pain, or headaches with all the pills, potions, creams, and hot patches, et cetera …. that are out there or you can call your family chiropractor today to have your spine checked to see if you in fact have any spinal misalignments and find out what kind of condition your spine is in and what, if anything, can be done to help you correct the problem.
Remember, the longer you put something off the worse it will get, the harder it will be to correct, and consequently the more expensive it will be not only to treat, but if not caught early on, may end up costing you your health. Which after all, is the greatest asset you have. Wouldn’t you agree?
As always, I welcome any of your thoughts and would be glad to help answer any of your further questions you may have. So, if you’d like to, just leave a comment below.