Lumbar Disc Disease

Learn what causes lumbar degenerative disc disease and how it should be treated.

What are the signs and symptoms that someone is suffering from lumbar disc disease?

Dr. Chris Serafini: Well believe it or not, a lot of times they are asymptomatic. The patient won’t have any symptoms at all. This is actually confirmed through a group of researchers who talked about how they randomly tested patients or did testing on them via MRIs and found that a lot of them, two-thirds actually, had some sort of lumbar disc disease or bulging discs and a lot of them, many of the patients, were actually symptomatic. If you are symptomatic, the most likely pain could have sciatic problems, maybe numbness and tingling, groin pain, decreased range of motion. It could be many effects but those are probably the most common.

What causes lumbar disc disease?

Dr. Chris Serafini: Lumbar disc disease is technically caused by biomechanical misalignment. It’s a degenerative process. It’s an abnormal wear and tear on the joint. You get it like your car alignment on the front end of your car. If you have a misalignment on the front end, you have abnormal wear and tear on the tires and the tires start to wear out. Do you have a tire problem? Well no, you don’t. The tires on the front of the car are just as old as the tires on the back of the car. If I gave you new tires, did it fix your problem? No, technically it didn’t – you have an alignment problem. It’s the same thing with lumbar disc disease. As the alignment goes over a period of time, there’s going to abnormal wear and tear. Abnormal wear and tear over time, you’re going to get that degeneration process, that is lumbar disc disease or degenerative disease.

How do you diagnose someone with lumbar disc disease?

Dr. Chris Serafini: Great question. It’s pretty short and sweet but it’s either an x-ray or MRIs most commonly used. Those are really the diagnostic tools, MRI or x-ray.

Can chiropractic care help treat lumbar disc disease?

Dr. Chris Serafini: Absolutely. Once again it’s an abnormal wear and tear and as that degenerative process gets worse and worse and worse, the disease advances and gets worse. What we do chiropractically is we find where those misalignments are and we re-align the bones which then restores normal joint motion and it decreases that abnormal wear and tear. It’s actually a process called inhibition. It is like a pump mechanism. Think of it like if you squeeze a sponge, the water comes out. If you let your hand off the sponge, the water sucks back in. The disc kind of works the same way. You have a misalignment, doesn’t function the way it’s supposed to inhibition breaks down. When you realign the spine, you restore that normal joint biomechanics and that inhibition process takes place which then hydrates the disc and keeps it healthy.

Is there anything we can do at home to help alleviate the symptoms and even prevent this disease from happening?

Dr. Chris Serafini: Good question but there’s not really a whole lot you can do at home because it’s a misalignment issue, it’s an abnormal wear and tear. Really honestly the only, the best way I guess to determine if you have it and to alleviate it and prevent is really get checked by a qualified chiropractor because we’re really the only doctors in the world that basically detect misalignments of the spine which once again that is what degenerative disc disease really is. It’s a misalignment, abnormal wear and tear so just get checked by your chiropractor.

If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Chris Serafini, visit or call 480-443-7678 to schedule an appointment.

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