Most of us try to eat well, get a little exercise, and do what we can to stay fit and healthy.  This is mainly due to the fact that we want to be able to enjoy life without pain and permanent discomfort.  However, when you are in an auto-accident or injured through some type of high impact fall or collision, most people are a simply unaware of the dangers that are inviting to their long-term health.

There is a significant risk of developing a condition called “Degenerative Joint Disease” which can gravely affect your ability to live a pain-free life.  Accident specialist Dr. James Grant of the Utah Accident and Injury Clinic in Salt Lake City outlines 5 key things you should be aware of when it comes to being in an accident and the development of degenerative joint disease.

  1. Degenerative joint disease is a wear-and-tear disorder that happens in the spinal column which irritates the bone and that irritation forms calcium crystals in your spine, which when left untreated will eventually build up enough to where they form a spur. If the spur gets too big it will form a bridge from the superior to the inferior vertebrae, similar to a stalactite and a stalagmite in a cave.  If it fuses the spine together then those two spinal segments won’t be able to move anymore in the manner which they were intended.  This can be very devastating to a person’s spinal health.  It is these misalignments of the spine that will cause degenerative joint disease.  Think about it being similar to a tire being out of alignment on your car.  When a tire is out of alignment little by little, day by day, the tire wears down until one side of the tire is bald but the other side of the tire still has good tread.  When this happens in your spine, the vertebrates get irritated and they form the spur formation that can bridge the two vertebrates together.
  2. Degenerative joint disease can be caused by any type of an incident especially high impact events like a car accident. The spine will go out of alignment, heal crooked and then within as little as three to four months you can develop degenerative joint disease of the spine.  Unfortunately, this is a permanent condition and that is why it is so important to avoid this from happening in the first place.  The best way to be certain you spine is properly aligned and not in danger of permanent misalignment is to get checked by an accident specialist as soon as possible after you have been in an accident.
  3. 5 Things You Should Know About Degenerative Joint Disease

  4. You can also develop degenerative joint disease of the spine from football injuries, hockey injuries, or any type of a hyperflexion/hyperextension injury which will result in misalignment of the spine. Far too often, people just shrug off a potentially dangerous spinal injury by saying they are little banged up, but they’ll be alright.  The sad truth is that far too often, they will not be alright and in just a short period of time will start to develop this non-reversible condition.  We only watch professional athletes on the weekend, but don’t see the specialized medical care they receive from team and personal physicians.  As amateur weekend warriors, we need to focus on providing the same type of care for ourselves to be sure that we don’t end up with a permanent injury that will cause a lifetime of pain, discomfort, and debilitating limitations for the rest of our life.
  5. The best treatment for degenerative joint disease is spinal manipulation rehab and strengthening exercises. A trained accident physician who specializes in injuries resulting from accidents can manage your injury and prevent any long-term health challenges.  Spinal manipulation rehab is the process of getting the joints in the spine properly aligned.  If a joint has recently been impacted, there will be inflammation which will change how the muscles supports the joint.  It is the job of the muscles to move and support the joint.  The goal of the therapy is to manipulate the muscle allowing the joint to regain its proper original movement.
  6. Degenerative joint disease can be a devastating lifelong problem if you are injured and not properly treated. The most important thing is to go to a chiropractor physician that specializes in degenerative joint disease.  You will need to get an x-ray and receive the proper manipulation and therapeutic procedures to stabilize the spine and regain full range of motion, and then strengthen the muscles that support it.

Dr. James Grant is located in Salt Lake City on 3300 South, making this a convenient and central location for almost anyone in the valley.  If you have been in an accident and you want to make sure that you do not develop any long-term problems with degenerative joint disease, call the office and make an appointment today