Degenerative Joint Disease and Degenerative Disc Disease
DJD is also known as osteoarthritis. This is wear-and-tear arthritis where the joint starts to break down from use. It commonly occurs in the weight bearing joints as well as those of the hands. DDD occurs in the discs of the back – starting with microtears and eventually leading to disc bulges and even disc herniation. If the disc herniates in the wrong direction it will press directly on a nerve root and cause extreme pain.
Both DJD and DDD occur naturally to a small extend with time, and some is expected in the elderly. However, a large percentage of these conditions are abnormal - degeneration caused by overuse and subluxation. In the spine, joints that become subluxated or fixated (that stop working properly) will break down much more quickly than usual. Although often a painless process, it leads to major back issues when left too long. Eventually DJD and DDD will develop. The only persons trained to find and correct subluxations and fixations are doctors of chiropractic.