SPINE DECAY is ""Arthritis" - usually termed "Osteoarthritis". It is caused by wear and tear damage to the joints & discs of the spine and is often misrepresented by the medical community as age related arthritis which in NOT TRUE.
If arthritis was age related wouldn't the entire spine be worn the same amount? Why then does osteoarthritis occur only in isolated areas (the vertebrae are all the same age)
Your spine when balanced and in alignment may show slow and even wear. But when out of alignment the damage speeds up in the area under greater pressure (WOLFF's LAW). This is often seen on an x-ray as localized damage in one area of the spine but not in the surrounding area.
SPINAL DECAY is a process, meaning it takes time.
We use the three-phase model based on the book Managing Low Back Pain, by W. H. Kirkaldly-Willis and Thomas Bernard, Jr.
- Phase 1 - When the spine or individual vertebrae are not in the ideal position (out of alignment). Often times this is occuring without your knowledge but sets in motion the accelerated damage cycle (just like a tooth cavity). This can be detected by a trained chiropractor. The misalignments at this phase are usually completely correctable
- Phase 2 - After years of spinal misalignment the damage becomes visible on an X-ray as bone spurs and thin discs. It often causes restriction in movement, stiffness, and pain (BODY's FIRE ALARM). The misalignments at this phase may be partially corrected and stabilized to minimize future damage.
- Phase 3 - If the misalignments in phase 1 and 2 are not corrected then permanent spinal damage occurs. Discs are completely worn, joints and vertebrae are fused together by the body. The misalignments at this phase are not correctable and care is designed to contro the patient ongoing symptoms.
Phases of degeneration are use to determine approximately how long your spinal misalignments have been present and give the doctor a reasonable expectation for corrective care.