Back To Health: Why Everyone Shouldn’t Neglect Their Spine

Understanding the reason for maintenance chiropractic care mandates an understanding of a well-documented concept called “Immobilization Degeneration.”{{more}} There are millions of people suffering from the effects of spinal degeneration. The CDC says spinal degeneration is the nation’s leading cause of pain and disability.

Every tissue of the spine remodels and adapts to the stresses placed upon them when the spinal bones are immobilized. This involves both chemical and structural changes. Most of these changes are adverse, and are characterized by the weakening and degeneration of the tissues, rendering them more susceptible to injury. The adverse effects of immobilization involves: spinal joint (facets) cartilage, the joint lining (synovium), the spinal joint (articular) capsule, spinal ligaments, bone under the cartilage (subchondral bone), the intervertebral disc as well as the surrounding muscles that attach to the vertebrae. Some of the tissue changes develop within hours to days of immobilization.

One of the earliest and most significant consequences of immobilization degeneration is the softening and thinning of cartilage. More severely compromised cartilage is less likely to repair. Immobilization also results in biochemical and structural changes within ligaments which causes supportive ligaments to become shortened and less flexible. Bone is metabolically active, and is constantly remodeling in response to the stresses placed upon it.

Immobilization leads to the thinning of bone, a disorder commonly referred to as “osteoporosis” or “osteopenia.” It also leads to bone spurring, which can sometimes cause severe pain. The intervertebral disc requires movement in order to receive water and nutrients through passive process of osmosis and diffusion. The lack of adequate spinal segment movement results in accelerated degeneration and the stiffening of the associated intervertebral disc. The loss of disc height places additional mechanical stress upon the corresponding pair of spinal (facet) joints, which lie posterior to the disc.

This sets the stage for both injury, and for the disruption of supportive annular fibers, a process that can lead to disc herniation. Muscle atrophy (muscle break down) occurs due to a decreased blood supply and diminished nutrition. This results in the breakdown of muscle fibers and weakness.

Most people will not consider taking care of their spine until they are having some kind of problem. This is similar to someone waiting to get a cavity before they start brushing. It is a well known fact that you do not have to have symptoms to develop spinal degeneration. This is a big reason why you don’t need to be in pain to be adjusted.

If you allow your body to progress in this direction, you are headed towards a state of pain, illness, and disease. However, if you restore the motion to these spinal segments through regular chiropractic care, you provide motion to ensure proper spinal health. Don’t neglect your spine. Research shows we are much healthier with a properly moving spine!

Dr. David Durso, D.C. is a board certified chiropractor in the state of Connecticut. For more information visit or call for an appointment at 203-553-9300.