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Suppose you went to your doctor about your low back pain, they took x-rays, and said you have “Arthritis” in your spine. What do you do now? Have you considered seeing a chiropractor? As a Eugene Chiropractor, I am asked daily “what can I do to help with my back pain”. The first step is to understand your condition. In this article, I will help you gain a deeper insight into what arthritis is and how to treat it most effectively.

Although there are many different types of arthritis, two of the most common are degenerative joint disease (DJD) and degenerative disc disease (DDD). Degenerative joint disease, also known as osteoarthritis, is a “wear and tear” type disease wherein the cartilage that provides the normal cushioning between your joint begins to wear out. This can trigger swelling, stiffness, and inflammation within the joints. This condition can affect any joint, however, it is most common in knees, hands, hips, and the spine.

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) occurs when the disc, which provides cushioning between your vertebrae, begins to thin. Discs act as shock absorbing structures, allowing the spine to flex and bend. As the degenerative process progresses, it can lead to stiffness and decreased range of motion, thereby causing chronic pain. When severe, it can cause numbness, tingling, weakness, and even shooting pain into the arms or legs.

The diagnosis of joint or disc degeneration is most accurately made after reviewing x-rays. Because degeneration is a normal part of the aging process, most of us (if we live long enough) are likely to experience some degree of degeneration.

Fortunately, these conditions are best managed by focusing on the following 3 components:

  • Alignment
  • Flexibility
  • Strength

Optimizing the alignment of your spine helps alleviate abnormal wear patterns by reducing mechanical stress. Your joints simply wear better when forces are distributed evenly. Proper alignment also helps prevent any type of nerve irritation on the nerves exiting your spine.

Improving the flexibility of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the joints of your spine supports your spine’s ability to move into full ranges of motion. Proper motion patterns help to provide adequate nutrients to joint cartilage and discs, thereby keeping your joints healthier. A regular stretching and exercise program help keep the back limber and combats the natural stiffening process that occurs as we age.

Strengthening your muscles through resistance training is one of the best long-term insurance policies to protect the joints in your body. Strength training helps your muscles support and stabilize the spine, which increases the capacity to tolerate the daily stress you place on your spine.

How can Back2Strength help you?

At Back2Strength we believe optimizing these 3 components is essential to feeling better, moving better, and living the active lifestyle you deserve. Our Eugene chiropractors utilize various types of joint manipulation, in conjunction with a researched based strength training program, to restore movement and health. Additionally, consistent stretching, good nutrition, and a positive mental attitude go a long way towards helping in the recovery process.

With time, repetition, and consistency with treatment, many patients experience great results. Do not let chronic back pain interfere with your daily activities. Call Back2Strength today and return to the activities you love!

Yours in Health,

Dr. Gittins