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Is Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) Progressive?

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:34pm

San Francisco Chiropractor and Disc Pain Doctor Comments:

I received an email inquiry yesterday from a lady who said she was interested in finding out if she was a candidate for lumbar spinal decompression with the DRX9000. She said she has two herniated discs in the low back, L4 and L5. She also said that she was certain that her "herniated disc" condition was not degenerative. She was glad because it did not make sense to her that spinal disc degeneration could be treated using a spinal decompression machine. Here is what she wrote:

So, the questions is:  If my condition was degenerative, would the DRX9000 be able to help?  It is my understanding that if something is degenerating, it will only get progressively worse, and there is nothing that can cure it.

This is such a great question I thought I would address it today:
I wrote about this a few months back on this blog. The title of the post is Disc Regeneration. Is it Possible?  This issue actually comes up just about every time I show someone their x-rays or when I am lecturing at my San Francisco Chiropractic Center, or to a group outside the clinic.
So, what's the answer?  The answer is YES, the spinal discs can regenerate, just like any part of the body can regenerate if the conditions are right. Of course there are limitations of matter.
So, how much healing can take place just depends on the individual circumstances. If you have ever known someone that was a smoker for a very long time, then quit, you know what I mean. Sure, depending on how long they smoked, and how much per day, there will be permanent damage. But, if that same person all the sudden quits smoking, starts meditating on a regular basis, starts jogging, and becomes a vegetarian, well, even though there will be some damage that never heals, this same person could possibly become a marathon runner if they wanted to. It's all about lifestyle and context. If you just quit smoking you will live longer and fell better. But if you adjust some of the other lifestyle variables, you create fertile soil for maximum healing to take place. And yes, this often times means  slowing or reversing disease processes, including disc disease and spinal degeneration. 
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