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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can a chiropractor treat degenerative disc disease?

    I have degenerative disc disease and am thankful that I won't be needing surgery. Are regular visits to the chiropractor enough to treat the symptoms?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Dr Peter Dun


    Rehab - Sports - X-Ray - Standing MRI - Second Opinions. We provide strategies for chronic and more complex function problems to help restore active … View Profile

    As with all health problems, each case should be considered individually – there is no one-size-fits-all solution. So, it is first necessary for the chiropractor to perform a thorough assessment. By doing this, relevant factors can be considered in order to determine the best course of action. It is important to identify the source of the symptoms as much as is possible, so that an appropriate specific treatment strategy can be selected from a range of potential treatment options. While in some cases it may be enough for the chiropractor to provide manual treatments on a periodic or regular basis to help control the symptoms, more often it is necessary to use a combined active/passive strategy. With this approach, the patient is taught a range of customised self-management (active) strategies to complement the chiropractor’s (passive) manual treatments.
    By ‘covering more bases’ in the overall management of the condition should mean that the need for the chiropractor to provide manual treatments is a little as possible. For more complex cases, a patient may benefit from receiving clinical care and advice from other health care providers as well (co-management) to get the best outcome. In other cases, the patient may eventually become sufficiently equipped to fully self manage their condition. As health care practitioners, we should be helping our patients in such a way that they can become as self-sufficient as possible – minimising their dependence on us. Thanks to the developers of the Healthshare website forum, healthcare practitioners and the general public can learn more from each other about both passive practitioner treatments and active self-management strategies for a host of health problems. 

  • 1


    Dr Beau Woods


    Dr Beau Woods Chiropractor BSc. BChiro (Murdoch)Special interests; Postural correction, family care, spine related disorders, fibromyalgia & motor vehicle injuries. View Profile

    Well it depends on your definintion of ‘treat’.
    Could chiropractic cure or reverse the changes that have taken place? My opinion; No.
    Could chiropractic help slow the deterioration of said disc. My opinion; Yes.
    Could chiropractic help manage the symptomatic presentation of an individual with DDD; paraspinal muscular spasm, muscular hypertonicity, localised pain, radicular pain, joint fixation, range of motion limitation and palpatory tenderness? My opinion; Absolutely.
    Laboratory studies of rats that restricted the normal movement of spinal segments showed rapid degenerative change occured following joint immobilisation, on mircoscopic disection. 
    Chiropractic helps to restore movement to restricted joints which has many diffent effects…Cramer GD, Henderson CN, Little JW, Daley C, Grieve TJ. Zygapophyseal joint adhesions after induced hypomobility. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2010 Sep;33(7):508-18.

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