Phases of Disc Degeneration

Stages Of Disc Degeneration Normal Cervical Spine

Proper curves and good vertebral disk height allow for optimal function of the spine and nervous system. When spinal trauma, however slight, is left uncorrected, the body deposits calcium on the surface of adjacent bones that aren't moving properly. If left uncorrected long enough, the bone will attempt to splint and can result in complete fusion. This process is called Subluxation Degeneration and can occur anywhere throughout the spine. The following is the recognized degeneration stages of a misaligned spine:

Stage One Cervical Spine Degeneration

Loss of proper curves, with anterior head posture, and nervous system interference with dysfunction result from uncorrected spinal trauma.

Stage One:
Usually observed as misalignment and dysfunction of the spine. Typical spinal curves, range of motion, and disc heights are altered. The body is highly adaptable so in this early phase it can exist without the warning of pain or other symptoms. If left unaddressed the degeneration continues into stage two.

Stage Two Cervical Spine

Bone spurring and abnormal bony growths alter the function and shape of the vertebrae.

Stage Two:
Now visible on X-ray views of the spine; bone spurring, loss of disk height and uneven edges of bony segments. Degeneration of discs and ligaments is propagated by a lack, and abnormal, joint movement. Symptoms of pain may not yet be noticed, in stage two degeneration, by the individual. Loss of cervical curve can contribute to many different health related complaints.

Stage Three Cervical Spine

Spinal fusion, nerve interference, soft tissue degeneration.

Stage Three:
After years of improper alignment, and decreased range of motion, the neglected spinal joints will often fuse together. Nerve damage and subsequent degeneration of tissues supplied by that nerve can result in permanent nerve damage, soft tissue damage, and musculature atrophy. All of these result in the reduction of one’s quality of life and the ability to do the things you love.
Loss of the cervical curve can reduce life spans by up to 15 years.

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