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Lumbar Degenerative Joint Disease and Spondylosis

Lumbar Degenerative Joint Disease is primarily a combination of the results of normal wear and tear on the discs and joints of the spine and the results of increased stress from trauma on those joints and discs. The discs thin and the bones of the spine expand into the spaces causing less capability of movement. When combined with spondylosis (growth and change of shape of the vertebral bodies) regular symptoms of stiffness, aches and pains are usually experienced. This generally causes a breakdown of the normal mechanical function of the lower back and is characterized by the dull ache and occasional sharp, radiating pain in the lower back, buttocks, thigh and leg. Pain in usually increased in the morning and lessens during the day and then increases as the day wears on. The early stages of the condition rarely cause any symptoms. As the symptoms arise,

it is a signal that the degeneration is advancing and causing less movement in the joints. This, in turn causes more stiffness and daily symptoms, which if left unchecked causes less movement. A vicious cycle results. When treated properly, the mechanical dysfunction is improved, the muscular components strengthened and the movement in the joints is increased. Proper healing of this condition is not possible. Although periodic treatment, exercise, active life style, proper nutrition, sufficient sleep and reduction of stress can reduce the symptom pattern considerably, correction of the process is aimed at control of the symptoms only.

When left untreated, the deterioration of the disc occurs and proliferation of the bony surfaces encroaches on the nerve elements.


TREATMENT Treatment is centered around maintaining normal function through spinal manipulation and exercise. Daily exercise is required. Low impact, low weight and work up to 30 minute duration will help. Monthly or semi-monthly adjustment of the spine will help reduce progression of the disease and control symptoms.

LIFE STYLE CHANGES Long periods of sitting or standing should be avoided. Bending, lifting and twisting should also be avoided for several weeks following onset. Do not sleep or lie on your stomach and avoid activities that hyper extend the lower back. Water intake should be increased substantially. Daily exercise of low impact and non-resistive types are indicated, such as swimming, walking and stretching.

SUPPLEMENTATION: Glucoseamine Sulphate and Trace Minerals: These supplements have proven effective in long-term prevention of deterioration of joint tissues and the disc. This may help reduce the mechanical breakdown associated with three joint complex problems. Some OTC medications have been helpful in reducing the symptoms only.

HOME REMEDIES AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Utilize moist heat packs on the lower back for 10-20 minutes at a time. Hot tubs provide buoyancy are good on a daily basis at not more than 104 degrees F.

MAINTENANCE: Regular spinal adjustments and mild forms of physical therapy are important to reduce the symptoms on a regular basis. Patients who receive monthly spinal manipulation and therapy report fewer complications and improved life style. It is important that you follow your chiropractic physician's advice about the frequency of treatment for your particular condition. Follow our wellness recomendations for absolute health.

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