Living With A Spinal Misalignment

Phases of spinal degeneration - Dr. Cockwill and Dr. Franchesca Lee, Courtenay and Campbell River

Once the spine becomes misaligned, time and gravity will create weak spots which eventually break down and produce pain.  Generally speaking, any joint that bears weight, any muscle that supports the spine against gravity, any nerve that exits the spine, and any part of the brain that is involved with the orientation of the spine against gravity or the perception of pain can be negatively affected by spinal misalignment and imbalance.  The onset of pain is frequently seen years after the initial injury.  Unless spinal misalignments are corrected, the body will typically progress through various phases of spinal degeneration and breakdown.

Photo by wildpixel/iStock / Getty Images - Dr. Cockwill and Dr. Franchesca Lee, Straight Spine Chiropractic, Courtenay and Campbell River
Photo by twinsterphoto/iStock / Getty Images - Dr. Cockwill and Dr. Franchesca Lee, Straight Spine Chiropractic, Courtenay and Campbell River

The magnitude of spinal distortion, tissue breakdown, and subsequent symptoms is usually progressive in nature.  Over time, spinal pain typically becomes more frequent and intense, more areas of the spine become involved, pain is triggered more easily, and recovery takes longer.  The list of things you can do will typically grow shorter, and the list of things you can't do will grow longer.

Abnormal weight-bearing over time will usually result in wear-and-tear changes to the joints and discs of the spine.  X-rays, CT scans or MRIs in these circumstances may lead to a diagnosis of degenerative disc disease, calcium spurring, degenerative joint disease, or bulging discs.

In this phase of spinal degeneration, many people will blame old age and arthritis for their condition and assume that a degenerative disease has afflicted their spine.  They will also assume that nothing can be done for them.  This is unfortunate and untrue.  Regardless of the current state of a person's spinal health, or the presence of degenerative changes seen on an x-ray, improvements in symptoms and function will usually occur if the spine is corrected and returned to its optimal orientation to gravity.