The Three Stages Of Spinal Degeneration


Determining which stage of Spinal Degeneration you have helps us to determine the best treatment approach. When the spinal vertebrae are in their normal alignment, motion is fluid. There is no pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. The brain can communicate with all the parts of the body.There are three phases of Spinal Degeneration


Phase One
Phase 1 Degeneration (dysfunction) shows loss of the curve in the neck as weight is shifted forward compressing the discs. The increased pressure affects disc nutrition, initiates posterior shifting of the nucleus, and contributes to further degeneration. Additionally, the spinal cord and nerve roots experience increased tension and they are stretched forward.

Phase TWo
Phase 2 Degeneration (instability) Chronic compression of the disc decreases water content (normally about 80%) further decreasing the disc height, and making the spine less stable. Joint motion becomes “sloppy” and early bone spurs begin to develop. Decreased room for the spinal cord and nerve roots can increase pressure on these delicate structures causing pain, numbing, tingling and weakness.

Phase Three
Phase 3 Degeneration (re-stabilization) Disc spaces become severely reduced, bone spurs increase and these two processes acting together result in fusion of the vertebral bodies and the posterior joints. Motion of the neck is severely reduced. The central canal which protects the spinal cord and the lateral foramina which surround the nerve roots are now significantly narrowed putting pressure on the nervous system and decreasing its function. Once the vertebral bodies have fused together the fusion cannot be corrected. The degenerative process is complete and irreversible.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about your spine, do not hesitate to call the doctors at Harbour City Chiropractic for a free consultation: 250-758-1716