Disc degeneration is common, but not normal. Looking at your x-rays may show degenerative disk disease, but it’s not likely to be the same at all levels in your cervical spine. Why is that? If it’s simply due to age and all your discs are the same age, shouldn’t they be degenerated the same amount? Yes. However, it’s not solely due to age.

Disc degeneration is due to damage to the spine. The degenerative spine begins to progress after an injury, such as a car accident, a fall out of a tree, bicycle accident, sports injury or even birth trauma. The body tries to protect the injured joints, and therefore lays down bone, creating bone spurs. Since there is no longer the correct motion in the cervical spine, you can get a pinched nerve in your neck. The discs lose their height and herniated cervical disks can occur. You can also get herniated disks in your lumbar spine.

What can we do about it? If it’s really bad, you can have surgery, but it’s extremely invasive and not always effective. That can be your last resort, and it can sometimes be a very wise decision – after you’ve tried everything else.

You can get spinal decompression therapy to “stretch” out your spine and allow more space between the bones, which can be very successful, but it’s costly and not always necessary.

You can also “put your head on straight” with NUCCA and restore spinal motion, allowing the degenerative disks to heal or at least slow down their progression, and to rebalance the pressure on the herniated disks, allowing them to heal and oftentimes reversing the herniation.