A senior man sitting on a sofa holding is lower back in pain.

Can a Chiropractor Help with Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a common condition that affects the intervertebral discs in the spine. It can cause chronic pain and discomfort, reduced mobility, and a decreased quality of life. While there is no cure for degenerative disc disease, there are several treatments available to manage its symptoms. One such treatment is chiropractic care. In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of chiropractic care in managing degenerative disc disease.

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

An African-Amerian woman sitting on a sofa holding her lower back in pain and grimacing.

Before we delve into how chiropractic care can help with DDD, it’s essential to understand the condition. Degenerative disc disease refers to the natural wear and tear of the intervertebral discs in the spine. These discs are located between the vertebrae and act as cushions, providing shock absorption and allowing for movement in the spine. Over time, these discs can become damaged, leading to a range of symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

The symptoms of degenerative disc disease can vary depending on the severity and location of the condition. Some common symptoms of DDD include:

  • Chronic pain in the neck or back
  • Pain that radiates to the arms or legs
  • Stiffness or limited mobility in the spine
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Muscle weakness

Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of degenerative disc disease. These include:

  • Aging: As we age, the discs in our spine naturally lose water content, making them less flexible and more prone to damage.
  • Trauma: Injuries to the spine, such as those sustained in a car accident or fall, can damage the intervertebral discs and lead to DDD.
  • Repetitive motion: Activities that involve repetitive bending, twisting, or lifting can put stress on the discs in the spine, leading to degeneration over time.
  • Genetics: Some people may be predisposed to developing degenerative disc disease due to genetic factors.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help with Degenerative Disc Disease?

Chiropractor working on the upper back of a patient.

Chiropractic care is a non-invasive and drug-free approach to treating DDD. Chiropractors are trained to identify and treat problems with the musculoskeletal system, including the spine. They use a range of techniques to restore mobility, alleviate pain, and improve the overall function of the spine.

Spinal Manipulation

Spinal manipulation, also known as chiropractic adjustment, is one of the most common techniques used by chiropractors to treat degenerative disc disease. During this procedure, the chiropractor applies gentle force to the affected area of the spine, using their hands or a small instrument. This force is intended to realign the vertebrae, relieve pressure on the nerves, and improve joint mobility.

Spinal Traction or Spinal Decompression Therapy

Spinal traction or spinal decompression therapy is another technique used by chiropractors to treat DDD. During this procedure, the chiropractor applies a gentle, steady pull to the spine using a traction device. This traction is intended to stretch the spine, relieve pressure on the discs, and improve circulation to the affected area.

Soft Tissue Therapy

Soft tissue therapy is a technique used by chiropractors to treat the soft tissues surrounding the spine, including the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This therapy may involve massage, trigger point therapy, and stretching exercises. Soft tissue therapy is intended to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and promote healing.

Exercise and Rehabilitation

Chiropractors may also recommend specific exercises and rehabilitation programs to help manage the symptoms of degenerative disc disease. These exercises may include stretching, strength training, and postural exercises. By improving strength and flexibility in the muscles supporting the spine, patients may experience less pain and improved mobility.

Does Chiropractic Care Work for Degenerative Disc Disease?

While the effectiveness of chiropractic care in managing degenerative disc disease may vary from person to person, there is evidence to suggest that it can be beneficial. In a 2018 study, researchers found that patients with degenerative disc disease who received chiropractic care reported significant improvements in pain, disability, and quality of life.

Another study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulation was an effective treatment for reducing pain and disability in patients with chronic lower back pain, including those with degenerative disc disease.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Degenerative Disc Disease

A chiropractor sitting working on the neck of a patient.

Chiropractic care can provide several benefits for individuals with degenerative disc disease. These include:

1. Pain Relief

Chiropractic care can provide effective pain relief for individuals with DDD. Spinal manipulation and soft tissue therapy can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pressure on the nerves, reducing pain.

2. Improved Mobility

Chiropractic care can help improve mobility by restoring proper alignment and function to the spine. Traction can also help alleviate pressure on the intervertebral discs, improving mobility.

3. Reduced Need for Medication

Chiropractic care can help reduce the need for medication to manage pain associated with DDD. This is especially important for individuals who may be at risk of developing side effects from long-term medication use.

4. Non-Invasive Treatment

Chiropractic care is a non-invasive treatment option for DDD, meaning it does not involve surgery or medication. This can be an attractive option for individuals who want to avoid these more invasive treatments.

5. Customized Treatment Plans

Chiropractors can develop customized treatment plans that are tailored to the individual needs of each patient. This can help ensure that each patient receives the most appropriate treatment for their specific symptoms and condition.

Prevention of Degenerative Disc Disease

While it may not be possible to prevent degenerative disc disease entirely, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing the condition. These may include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Excess weight can put stress on the discs in the spine, leading to degeneration over time.
  • Practicing good posture: Poor posture can put stress on the discs in the spine, leading to degeneration over time. Practicing good posture can help reduce this stress.
  • Staying active: Regular exercise can help strengthen the muscles supporting the spine, reducing the risk of disc degeneration.
  • Avoiding repetitive motion: Activities that involve repetitive bending, twisting, or lifting can put stress on the discs in the spine, leading to degeneration over time. Avoiding these activities or taking breaks to rest and stretch can help reduce this stress.

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

Degenerative disc disease can be a debilitating condition that affects the quality of life of those who suffer from it. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment option that can provide effective pain relief and improved mobility for individuals with degenerative disc disease. Schedule your appointment today with Total Body Chiropractic for the relief that you’ve been looking for!


6 Stretching Exercises for Desk Jockeys

You spend a lot of time sitting. From working 40 hours a week, driving, and spending time relaxing on the couch, the average adult will sit for about 13 hours a day. And without the proper posture, all that sitting can take a toll on your body, causing neck and back pain that leads to headaches, muscle spasms, and a slew of other issues.

Fortunately, getting therapy for back pain in Bend can help relieve the pressure and tension that comes from working a desk job. But to hold onto these adjustments, you’ll need to practice daily maintenance stretches. Your chiropractor for neck pain in Bend will offer individualized stretches for your problem areas.

Here are 6 additional exercises to practice throughout the day for different muscle groups – and you can even do them seated at your desk!

1. Neck Stretch

  • Seated in a neutral position, grab the bottom of your chair with your right hand.
  • Tilt your head to the left, bringing your ear toward your shoulder.
  • Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

You can deepen your stretch by gently pressing down on your head with your left hand.

2. Shoulder Shrug

  • Sit in a relaxed position with your head forward.
  • Lift your shoulders toward your ears, while inhaling deeply.
  • Squeeze and hold for 2 seconds.
  • Then, roll your shoulders down and backwards on the exhale.
  • Complete 5 to 6 reps.
  • Repeat by rolling forward.

3. Spinal Twist

  • Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and your hips forward.
  • Place your left hand on the outside of your right knee and twist toward the right.
  • Hold for 3 to 5 breaths and exhale as you return to neutral.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

You can use your right arm to brace the back of your chair and twist deeper.

4. Lumbar & Mid-Back Stretch

  • Scoot a little further than arms’ length away from your desk.
  • Sit up tall, looking forward with your arms extended straight overhead.
  • Gently bend forward and grab your desk.
  • Relax, breathe and hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times.

Adjust yourself as needed until you create a horizontal bridge from your desk to your chair.

5. Seated Hip Stretch

  • Sitting down, place your right ankle over your left knee.
  • Sit up tall and gently lean forward, being sure to hinge at the hips and keep your back straight.
  • Continue reaching with your torso until you feel the stretch in your right hip and glute.

Deepen your stretch by placing gentle pressure on your right leg with your hand.

6. Hamstrings

  • In a seated position, extend your legs at a 45-degree angle.
  • Gently bend toward your toes, keeping your back straight.
  • Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise 3 to 5 times.

or from standing…

  • Squeeze your glutes and brace your stomach.
  • Roll down vertebrae by vertebrae and try to touch your toes.
  • Hold for 3 to 5 breaths and roll back up vertebrae by vertebrae.

Don’t forget that even with these stretching exercises, you should take breaks to walk around for a few minutes each hour. Coupled with chiropractic care and massage therapy in Bend, these stretching exercises will keep you relaxed and pain-free! Come in for an adjustment at Total Body Chiropractic & Massage and get an individualized routine that will help you feel your best!

Text Neck Causes Soreness

How Chiropractic Helps Text Neck

There’s no denying we live in a technology-driven modern world with the average American spending at least 5 hours on their phone each day. Chances are, you’re even reading this article on your phone or tablet. So, it’s also no wonder that these powerful devices are the culprit of a condition known as text neck among people of all ages. But what is text neck, what are the symptoms and how can you treat and prevent it?

What is Text Neck?

Text neck is the pain and muscle tightness that results from continually looking down at your phone or similar technology, like e-readers, handheld gaming devices and tablets. Typically caused by the poor posture, text neck compresses and tightens the muscles, causing soreness in the neck, shoulders and upper back. This condition is also characterized by slouching shoulders and hunch back.

As is, your neck has a natural C shape with the opening facing away from you. And in a neutral position, your head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. However, when positioned forward and down – as it is while texting – your head can weigh as much as 60 pounds when held at a 60-degree angle. So, this added stress can cause your neck alignment to drastically shift in the opposite direction.

What are the Symptoms?

Depending on how frequently you use your phone, the way you hold your device and your posture, text neck can range from slight discomfort to extreme pain in the neck, back and shoulders. In some cases, this condition can even cause true injuries, especially when left unaddressed. Common symptoms include:

  • Neck soreness or tightness
  • Radiating pain in the arms and hands
  • Shooting pain when using a phone
  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle spasms

Treatment Options for Text Neck

Due to the growing reliance on technology, it can be difficult to fully avoid all symptoms of text neck. Fortunately, there are both treatment and maintenance options that can help you stay comfortable and pain free, including chiropractic care and massage.

Chiropractic Care

Because the strain on your neck disturbs the natural curvature of your spine, chiropractic care is a clear solution for this condition. Your chiropractor will use manual adjustments to restore proper alignment and relieve pressure from pinched nerves.

Your chiropractor also focuses on a holistic approach to wellness, so they will offer lifestyle changes that may alleviate the severity of this condition. These treatment plans include daily stretches to relieve tension, as well as pointers on the proper way to hold your phone to avoid poor posture.

Massage Therapy

Holding your neck in an unnatural position for hours a day as many of us do causes muscle tension and spasms. Massage therapy works to relax contracted muscles and release knots to ease pain. The gliding techniques help soothe inflammation and increase blood circulation to heal any damage that has occurred from text neck.

Even if you don’t feel that your symptoms are severe, it’s possible that you’ve just become accustomed to the toll that texting takes on your body. Periodically checking in with a chiropractor at Total Body Chiropractic & Massage can help you restore and maintain proper balance and live life more comfortably.

Treating Neck Pain with Chiropractic and Massage Therapy

Most people will experience neck pain at some point in their life, whether from poor posture, an auto injury or one of several other common causes of this condition. A combination of chiropractic care and massage therapy may help relieve discomfort and treat immobility associated with neck pain.

What is neck pain?

The neck is a small but powerful combination of vertebrae, muscles and ligaments that impacts most of our daily activities. However, due to its small size and big job, the neck is extremely susceptible to injury, stress and pain. Neck pain can limit your ability to drive, work, sleep or carry out everyday tasks due to the restriction of turning the head, numbness or tingling in the fingers and debilitating pain. Generally, people experience either acute or chronic neck pain.

Acute – Acute pain occurs suddenly from injury or stress on joints and muscles.

Chronic – Chronic pain is classified as pain lasting longer than three months.

What causes neck pain?

There are many contributing factors to neck pain, and your situation could result from one event or a combination of circumstances.

Neck pain can indirectly occur from common events:

·         Whiplash

·         Poor posture

·        “Text neck”

·         Sleeping on stiff pillows

·         Stress

·         Repetitive movements

·         Accidents (auto or bike)

·         Aging

And medical conditions:

·         Osteoarthritis

·         Spinal Stenosis

·         Degenerative disc disease

However, the aforementioned events may directly cause certain changes in the joints and muscles that lead to different types of neck pain:

·         Muscle spasms

·         Inflammation

·         Misaligned vertebrae

·         Disc herniation

·         Pinched nerves

How can a treatment plan of chiropractic visits and regular massage cure neck pain?

Your muscles and joints work together to create movement. Over time, tight muscles can cause misaligned vertebrae and vice versa. By keeping all the components of the neck in optimal condition through chiropractic and massage therapy, you may experience faster healing and decrease the chance of future strains.

Benefits of Massage

Massage typically addresses soft tissue and relaxes tight muscles to increase blood flow and muscle flexibility, decrease inflammation in tendons and tissues, and relieve physical and emotional stress that may be contributing to soreness. This therapy targets neck pain associated with spasms, strains, tensions and overworked or pulled muscles.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care focuses on hard tissue like the joints and spine. Adjustments encourage proper alignment of the vertebrae to decrease mobility restrictions and reduce inflammation. This treatment also removes nerve interference from misaligned vertebrae, loosens stiff joints, and increases range of motion even after one session.

Beginning your session with massage warms up and loosens your muscles to make chiropractic treatment more impactful. When the joints are properly aligned, your body can heal more quickly. Together, these ongoing treatments have the potential to alleviate inflammation, restore mobility and promote proper nerve function in the neck and shoulder region. Ask your chiropractor about supplementing your treatment plan with massage therapy for more holistic healing.


Here Are the Signs, Symptoms & Solutions for “Text Neck”

Most of us know that looking down at a cell phone or tablet every day takes a toll on your neck and upper back muscles, which can lead to both acute and chronic pain. More and more, people are relying heavily on smart phones for all kinds of communication and often you can see several people with their heads down, looking at a phone, when you are in a public setting. The text neck has become an actual medical condition that affects millions of people each year.

Some studies show that the population between 18-50 years of age have their cell phones with them 100% of the time, and it’s only at night when they are sleeping, that the phone isn’t in-hand.


Text neck typically presents itself as neck pain and soreness, however, pain can often be felt in other areas of the body. Upper back pain, shoulder tightness, or even pinched cervical nerves are all conditions that can point back to bad habits with digital devices. If left untreated, text neck can lead to inflammatory issues in the neck, nerve irritation, and even increased spinal curvature.

  • Pain- can be localized to one spot or may be spread over an area, usually the lower part of the neck. The pain can be described as a dull aching or can also be stabbing or sharp pain
  • Radiating pain- The pain can often radiate down into the shoulders and arms
  • Muscular weakness- shoulders muscles namely, trapezius, rhomboids and shoulder external rotators are often weak
  • Headache- sub-occipital muscle tightness can lead to tension type headaches.
  • Stiff neck- soreness and difficulty in moving the neck is usually present when trying to move the neck after long usages


Chiropractic care is helpful for text neck and treatment can include manual adjustments and other pain reducing techniques such as acupuncture. Statistically, Chiropractic and neck pain relief work well in unison.

Beyond chiropractic care, neck stretches can be incredibly helpful in reducing the strain from text neck. It’s also important to reevaluate your posture and usage habits.  We can help you make sure you are in a safe position when using your cell phone or tablet. We can also help you plan for better cell phone habits.

If you or someone you love is feeling the effects of text neck, Total Body Chiropractic & Massage treats adults and children for this very condition and would be happy to set up an appointment so you can get some relief. We’ve seen many patients that are damaging their bodies with bad posture and overuse of digital devices. Let us help you manage the pain and find some better solutions for using digital devices, so text neck can be a thing of the past.