Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative Disc Disease is common.  In between each vertebrae there are spinal discs. These are a cushion to act as a shock absorber. Discs help your back stay flexible. This helps you bend and twist. Degenerative disc disease occurs over time. As aging occurs, they can show signs of wear and tear. They can break down and may not work as well. Nearly everyone’s discs break down over time. Not everyone may feel pain from it though.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease

What causes it?

There are a variety of causes to degenerative disc disease. One of the causes may be due to them drying out. When you are born the discs are made up of water. As aging occurs, they lose water. The flatter the disc, the less shock is absorbed. Lack of disc space can also cause other pain. Another cause is a crack in the disc. The stress of everyday movements and minor injuries can cause tiny tears. These tears occur in the outer wall. The outer wall contains nerves. Any tears near the nerves can become painful. If the outer wall breaks down, the discs soft core may push through. This can cause the disc to bulge or slip out of place.


Degenerative disc disease symptoms depend on where the weak disc is located. The most common areas of the disc thinning out occurs in the neck and lower back. Common signs include pain that is in the lower back, buttocks, or upper thighs. Symptoms may come and go. It can be nagging or severe. This can last a few days or even months. Pain may also feel worse when sitting, bending, lifting or twisting. It can improve with movement such as walking.


The goal is to prevent the degenerative disc disease from causing more damage and to ease pain. Treatment may include medication such as over the counter drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen. These help fight inflammation. Physical therapy may also be an option for those who suffer from degenerative discs. Specific movements make the muscles in the neck and back stronger. This will help support the spine more.

Chiropractic Care

Your chiropractor will work hard to treat degenerative disc symptoms. Chiropractors treat the whole person, not just the specific symptoms. Your chiropractor may educate you on nutrition, stress management and lifestyle goals in addition to treating degenerative disc symptoms. The goal of chiropractic care for degenerative discs is to improve joint mechanics by improving spinal motion. To help treat degenerative disc symptoms, your chiropractor may use spinal manipulation. This is also known as spinal adjustment.

Chiropractic Techniques

There are a few techniques the chiropractor may utilize to ease pain. Specific spinal manipulation allows the chiropractor to restore movement in joints that show abnormal motion. This occurs through a gentle thrusting technique. Another technique utilized is instrument assisted manipulations. This technique uses a hand held instrument. Gentle force is applied into the joint without thrusting into the spine. Another helpful technique is trigger point therapy. This involves putting pressure on tight muscles to relieve tensions   

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Sleep Deprivation and Back Pain: An Interconnected Relationship

Back pain is no laughing matter. It can interfere with the ability to live an active life and elicit pain during simple tasks. Getting a full night’s rest, that’s at least seven to nine hours of sleep, plays a bigger role in reducing back pain than many realize. As a natural biological function, rest is essential to reducing and managing back pain.

Sleep and Pain: A Tumultuous Relationship

Sleep and pain have a tumultuous relationship because pain can easily interfere with the sleep-wake cycle. However, sleep deprivation can reduce pain tolerance, which can make it even more difficult to get a full night’s rest.

A study published in Sleep explored the relationship between sleep time and pain tolerance by measuring the amount of time it took participants to withdraw their finger from a radiant heat source. Results showed that those who got four hours of sleep had 25 percent less pain tolerance than those who’d gotten eight hours of sleep, which is considered a full night’s rest.

Another group of researchers questioned what would happen if sleep time were extended from eight to ten hours. While the changes in pain tolerance were mild, those who slept ten hours still showed more pain tolerance than those who slept less.

However, the very sleep needed to reduce pain can be equally disrupted by back pain. That’s where a good mattress and pain management come into play.

The Right Mattress

A review of mattress designs and their effects on sleep quality, pain reduction, and spinal alignment found that a medium-firm mattress frequently helps reduce low back pain. Mattresses of all types including memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrids can all be found in medium-firm options. However, there are individual exceptions to this rule.

Sleep position plays a big role in back pain and can change the firmness and type of mattress needed. Stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress to prevent an arch in the spine. On the other hand, side sleepers need a softer mattress to account for the curves of the body pressing into the surface of the mattress. A focus on comfort and good spinal alignment between shoulders and hips can help you find the right type for your sleep position.

If you weigh under 130 pounds, you may need a softer mattress for better spine alignment. On the other end of the spectrum, those over 230 pounds generally need a firmer mattress to keep the spine in alignment.

Better Pain Management

Managing back pain before getting into bed can also improve sleep quality. Depending on the location and source of the back pain, it might take some trial and error to find a combination of treatments that reduce pain.

  • Hot/Cold Treatments: Ice packs numb the area and reduce swelling. Heat, on the other hand, brings blood to the area for better healing and acts as a natural muscle relaxer.
  • Massage Therapy: The manipulation of muscle and tissue helps move lactic acid out of the muscles and relieves knots and tension. Relief may last for a few days but continued treatments might be necessary for prolonged pain relief.
  • Spinal Adjustments: Sometimes areas of the body become imbalanced. A licensed chiropractor can help identify these points and restore balance to the body using spinal adjustments and other chiropractic methods.

With adequate sleep, the right mattress, and a focus on continuing pain management, you can bring back pain under control. Better sleep can not only help you live the active lifestyle you want but also reduce the pain in your life.

Neck Therapy

Neck Therapy

Neck Pain

Poor posture can be a real pain in the neck. When the neck, chest and upper back muscles become weak, the shoulders can become round. This can cause the head to sag forward. This position is a result of poor posture. Poor posture can cause recurring chronic neck pain. This can also be accompanied by stiff joints and headaches. Fortunately, there is a variation of neck therapy that can be

applied to help relieve this pain.

What to Consider Before Starting Neck Therapy Read more

Herniated disc symptoms

Herniated Disc Symptoms

Herniated disc symptoms can be very painful. Herniated discs occur when the disc, the soft spot in between the vertebra, ruptures. This can put pressure on the nerve roots. Ultimately, this can cause pain or numbness. Some people may show more herniated disc symptoms than others. Some people may not have any herniated disc symptoms. A herniated disc may occur in any part of the spine. The two most common places a herniated disc may occur is in the cervical (neck) or lumbar (low back) spine.

herniated disc symptoms

Herniated Disc Symptoms

Herniated Disc Symptoms

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Spinal decompression

Spinal Decompression

What is Spinal Decompression?

spinal decompression

spinal decompression

If you have chronic back pain, you know how much it can affect your life. Finding relief is the only option to get back to your daily habits.  Some patients look towards spinal decompression as a way to find relief. Spinal decompression involves stretching the spine. This can be done using a traction table. The goal of this therapy is to relieve back pain or leg pain. There are two types of spinal decompression: surgical and non-surgical. Spinal decompression can be performed by a chiropractor and other health care professionals. Read more

chiropractor for back pain

chiropractor for back pain

Millions of Americans suffer from back pain. Some people do not realize back pain can be eased and treated.  There are many options to treat back pain.  The most successful treatments are done by a chiropractor for back pain.  A chiropractor for back pain offers a safe and Read more

Is Chiropractic Care the Answer to Your Child’s Chronic Ear Infections?

childhood ear infections

“Mom, it hurts. It hurts!”

Hello again, Dr David Mruz here as a guest blogger for Dr Maggio.  Parents of children suffering from ear infections are all too familiar with this cry. Tugging at their ears, crying, and trouble sleeping are all signs of an ear infection in your little one.

Children are more susceptible to ear infections than adults because of their smaller Eustachian tubes, and their less effective immune systems. Unfortunately, chronic ear infections can quickly become a painful, ongoing problem.

Parents have a variety of options at their disposal to treat childhood ear infections. Drops, antibiotics, and ventilation tubes placed by surgical procedure are all commonly used treatments for chronic infections. Chiropractic care is another option available and is rapidly gaining acceptance and popularity for the effective treatment of childhood ear infections.

According to, ear infections are the reason for 35% of pediatrician visits, and ear pain is the number one reason a child visits a chiropractor. Children who suffer from recurring ear infections benefit from chiropractic care in several ways that are not available through other, more traditional forms of treatment.

Childhood Ear Infections And Chiropractic

Here are a few of the benefits chiropractic care offer for childhood ear infections are:

It is non-invasive

Unlike the surgical procedure that is often used to combat ear infections by inserting tubes in the child’s ears, chiropractic adjustments provide a non-invasive form of treatment.

This treatment option works well because a little one’s spine may be moved out of alignment from the birthing process, or from any number of spills he or she makes learning to walk, run, or navigate stairs. An experienced chiropractor can map out a treatment plan that includes gentle adjustments of the child’s neck and spine. The goal is to decrease fluid build up within the ear canals that bring on ear infections and pain.

It is a painless option of treatment

The last thing parents want in any medical treatment is to cause their child more pain. A negative experience at a doctor’s office can create a fear that lasts for years to come.

Children with ear infections have nothing to fear from visiting a chiropractor. During a chiropractic visit, the child will participate in adjustments that are pain free. The treatments will be able to reduce the pain in a short amount of time in many instances, and reduce the chance of dealing with another ear infection down the road.

It treats the underlying cause

Other options of treatment may decrease the symptoms of an ear infection, but never get to the actual root issue. Chiropractic care strives to return the body in its entirety to its normal function.

This is the main building block concept for chiropractic in general. By re-aligning the spine, the body as a whole can be healthier and more resistant to infection and disease. Chiropractic care helps adjust the child’s body back to a normal state, thus providing a way for it to heal itself and fight off future ear (and other) infections better than simply using drops and antibiotics.

If your child is susceptible to ear infections, there are steps you can take to minimize the chances of an occurrence in the first place. Frequent hand washing to prevent the spread of germs and avoiding cigarette smoke are two simple ways to combat ear infections.

Chiropractic treatment continues to show promise in treating the underlying issues that cause a child to suffer from ear infections. If you are looking for a treatment that is pain free, not intimidating to the child, and an alternative to invasive surgery, no matter where you are, enlisting the help of a chiropractor is a fantastic option.

So if your child is experiencing chronic ear infections, give us a call. Dr Maggio is here to help!