If you want to prevent DDD (degenerative disc disease), maintaining good posture is the single most important factor within your control. Why is proper body posture such an essential thing? For many reasons, the body’s spinal discs lose their effectiveness over time.
Aging, lifestyle, sitting habits, work routines, smoking, diet, disease, genetics, and other things play a role in your spine’s, and your spine’s discs, overall health.
Eventually, as age and other potential factors play their role, it’s possible for even the healthiest among us to suffer from vertebrae tissue that breaks down. What’s the most likely result? For most adults, there are limitations to mobility and varying levels of pain, from mild to quite severe. But, poor posture is something, unlike aging, that people can completely control.
Of course, it takes discipline, perseverance, desire to get the job done. Above all else, it’s best to acquire initial guidance from a licensed chiropractic physician to make certain that you’re approaching the challenge correctly.
The best place to begin, before booking a visit with your favorite chiropractor, is to learn the most basic facts about DDD, degenerative disc disease, including DDD’s symptoms and its role in spine health. Additionally, get the facts about how bad posture can lead directly to DDD.
Finally, learn how to practice proper posture and get your whole program started off with sound advice and assistance from a chiropractor.
DDD Facts Everyone Should Know
Did you know that degenerative disc disease is not truly considered a “disease”? If not, check out the shortlist below to gain an insight into the condition, what causes, it, what it actually is, and how it can be prevented.
- It’s a “Condition”: Technically speaking, DDD is not a disease. In stead it’s a natural process of disc degeneration that can be speeded up by poor posture, accidents, and genetic predisposition to have weak spinal discs
- What It Is: Anytime the spine’s cushioning discs begin to lose their natural amount of moisture, crack, split, bulge, or otherwise fall out of place, they’re said to be “degenerating.” In many cases, age alone is the causative factor. But, for younger folks, posture can speed up the degeneration of spinal discs, leading to all sorts of problems, including severe pain and limited range of motion
- It Leads to Other Problems: When your discs begin to degenerate, the rest of the spine suffers. Some people end up with more debilitating conditions like osteoarthritis and similar spine-related problems that can cause serious physical problems in a short period of time
- Genetics Plays a Role: For some sufferers of DDD, genetics can be a contributing or primary factor because the tendency to have weak discs can be transmitting from parent to child
- DDD and Back Pain are Closely Related: Early-stage DDD is one of the most common types of back pain among patients who visit chiropractors. That’s actually good news because spotting DDD early means treatments can be much more effective
- Prevention is All-Important: One reason chiropractic physicians emphasize prevention of DDD so much is that the condition itself cannot be reversed. That’s why early detection and thorough treatment can be a key to success for anyone who experiences DDD
Know the Symptoms of Spinal Degeneration
Do you know the common symptoms of spinal problems, primarily DDD? If not, it’s helpful to understand that any type of spine misalignment, including herniated discs, bulges within any of the discs, or so-called “permeated” areas on spinal discs can be quite painful and contribute to long-term problems.
Many sufferers discover that having to live with high levels of pain is not a physical but also a psychological problem. Some of the following symptoms can serve as warning signs that you have disc-related issues and should visit a chiropractor as soon as possible:
- Areas in legs, torso, neck, or arms that are numb or tingling
- General pain in any part of the back
- A range of motion that is limited in nature, in any limb or in the torso (trunk)
- Any area of the body in which you notice pain that appears to be sharp or severe
The Role of Bad Posture
So-called “bad” posture includes a number of ways of standing, walking, and sitting that could be more appropriately called “improper.” The word “bad” carries too many value judgments to serve as an accurate medical term. In any case, one of the leading causes of unhealthy postures is long-term sitting, especially when done in a non-supportive chair and without taking regular breaks.
The body seems to benefit from regular motion and an up-and-down standing posture in which the hips are generally positioned beneath the head and shoulders without any visible “leaning” forward, backward, or to the side.
One of the most beneficial ways for the body to be in motion, for the purposes of posture, is through exercise. The spinal discs don’t tend to lose their resilience as quickly, due to aging, when people take part in regular exercise routines like yoga, stretching, and walking. The effort is not about aerobic workouts or vigorous, athletic training but more focuses on gentle movement and taking the limbs through their natural range of motion.
What sorts of improper posture contribute to DDD? Common harmful postures include pulling in one or both shoulders while standing or sitting, unintentionally curving your back (spine) in any position, or slouching over while standing or sitting. All these positions have the potential to place unnecessary and harmful stress on the spinal discs, which can eventually contribute to DDD.
Tips for Practicing Proper Posture
The good news is that just about anyone can take action and improve their general posture. For example, even moderate amounts of exercise work to increase the amount of chemical fluids in the body that act to assist and lubricate the spinal joints so that they can do their job without pain.
A few things that most people can do to bring about a more healthful posture include:
- Practicing being aware of posture at least once per hour throughout the day
- Doing regular, safe, gentle stretching exercises that include movement of the trunk and back area. Yoga classes are usually a smart choice as long as they are appropriate for your current state of health and approved by your chiropractor
- Doing “shoulder-roll” exercises several times each day. They’re done by simply, and gently raising the shoulders up, “rolling” them to the back and down, and then rolling them back up in the front, completing an imaginary circle.
- Receiving chiropractic adjustments on a regular basis
- Standing for a minute or so with your back positioned flat against a solid, straight wall
Prevention is the Best Treatment of All
For so many diseases, infections, and other physical problems, prevention is the best course of action. Even when a preventive program doesn’t completely protect you from an onset of DDD, catching a problem early, and getting professional intervention, is a key component of overall success.
At Dean Chiropractic, our team has years of experience treating DDD and helping healthy patients create simple prevention programs for maintaining good posture and minimizing the risk of all kinds of spine-related problems. Give any of our offices a call today and book a no-cost consultation with the doctor.
There’s no better way to get started on the road to excellent health. If you need help and tips about how to maintain proper posture throughout the workday, Dean Chiropractic can help. We’re currently accepting new patients and are not limited to dealing with posture and DDD.
In fact, it makes sense to stop by our office for a general health evaluation and find out what you can do to stay healthy for years to come. We look forward to hearing from you.