Disc deterioration and degeneration aren’t things most people have to worry about until they enter their golden years. That doesn’t mean it’s not completely out of the picture for juveniles and young adults, however. Juvenile disc disorder may be rare, but it’s a condition that demands rapid, ongoing attention to ensure the long-term spine health of younger individuals.
Juvenile disc disorder is characterized by degeneration not in just one or two discs, but throughout the spine. The discs themselves are generally too weak to withstand the pressure of everyday support demanded by the spine. As a result, the spine becomes prone to everything from disc displacement to vertebral compression fractures and painful nerve inflammation. Untreated, the entire situation exacerbates into full-blown degenerative disc disease and myriad other health problems.
Adolescents with persistent back pain issues need to be thoroughly examined by a chiropractor. At Ideal Spine, we know the value of an accurate diagnosis when it comes to administering proactive treatment for conditions like juvenile disc disorder.
When to suspect a problem
Back pain at any age is not normal, however in adolescents, it’s especially cause for concern. The wear and tear that leads to old-age spinal problems shouldn’t be present at such a young age and if it is, it’s a clear sign of an undiagnosed problem like juvenile disc disorder.
For parents who believe their child may have a persistent spine ailment or young adults with the power to seek relief on their own, keep apprised of the following potential symptoms for juvenile disc disorder:
- Persistent pain throughout the back;
- Back pain after long periods of sitting, standing, or laying;
- Pain when transitioning from walking to running or vice-versa;
- Pain when bending or lifting objects of moderate weight;
- Pain when stretching arms over the head.
Other, more subtle symptoms to look out for include changes to posture to compensate for pain or problems getting a full night’s sleep.
Managing a disc disorder
Because juvenile disc disorder affects primarily the vertebral discs of the spine, management is focused on alleviating pressure and strain on these discs. And, surprisingly to most people, it doesn’t mean restricting activity! Managing this condition is all about improving strength and flexibility.
Starting with foundational support, many chiropractors encourage juvenile disc disorder sufferers to strengthen their hips, thighs, and hamstrings in order to stabilize their posterior chain. This, in turn, leads to better core stability and less concussion of the spine during activity. Stretching in these areas also helps maintain flexibility for dynamic movement, such as twisting or bending.
Aerobic activity is also a cornerstone of keeping this condition in check. Getting the heart pumping spreads blood throughout the body and ensures areas of inflammation or injury are getting oxygenated blood – namely the spine. Here, body mechanics are also something to be concerned with, such as proper heel striking while running. These will lessen the jarring impact of aerobics on the spine and promote long-term wellness.
Finally, chiropractic adjustments round out management of juvenile disc disorder. Traction may reduce pressure and compression on at-risk discs, while HVLA adjustments may reset vertebrae to take stress off of discs.
Preventing a lifetime of back pain
Addressing juvenile disc disorder early is the first step in combating what is sure to otherwise be a lifetime of back pain problems. Waste no time in seeking chiropractic assessment from an Ideal Spine practitioner as soon as you suspect a chronic back ailment. Using Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), an expert chiropractor will map out a management approach that works to minimize juvenile disc concerns.
Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.