Congenital Anomalies and How to Keep them from becoming a Degenerative Condition
By: Dr. Nicholas LaHood, D.C.
Congenital anomalies or abnormalities are normally discovered when a patient develops a symptom of lower back or upper back pain and they come into the office for an evaluation. The doctor will perform an examination and note a concentration of positive tests located in a particular area. An X-ray examination then reveals an abnormally shaped or partially fused segment at the area producing pain. So what is the patient to do, they are born with an abnormally shaped or partially fused segment of their spine which is permanent. You can not just take this piece out and replace it. The solution is to understand that this abnormal segment is going to come with abnormal biomechanics. We know from my past articles that proper spinal motion is a precursor to a healthy spine and disc. For the spine and disc to stay healthy and not degenerate they need #1 Proper Alignment and Movement. #2 Proper Nutrients are drawn into the disc as a result of proper movement. You can see even the smallest subluxation or misalignment can create an abnormal nutrient flow into the disc and this will build up acidity and is the beginning of a degenerative disc. Degenerative disc are ones that progressively get weaker and weaker over time. This compresses the joint and the facet which can lead to disc bulges, disc herniations and ultimately a very painful spine.
So what should you do if your are born with a congenital anomaly? Step #1 You should really understand your diagnosis and visually memorize what that area looks like on your x-ray. This will help you identify your pain signals accurately. If your L5 is fused on the left side and you are always getting pain on your left side you can assume it is your anomaly. Step #2 You must develop a plan to keep proper biomechanical motion in this joint space consistently to keep the joint functioning and the surrounding disc spaces healthy. We recommend using some type of yoga ball or exercise ball for your lower back. Simply sitting on this yoga ball and performing clockwise and counterclockwise circles will help release tight back muscles. Especially the intertransverse and other involuntary muscle which can spasm and produce restrictions in movement. Light bouncing on the yoga ball will create a pumping action for the disc to draw in nutrients. This is an ideal start to controlling the amount of malfunction of the joint with targeted biomechanical exercises. Remember to always speak with your doctor about your condition.
If you have any questions on this topic or any others please email me at email@example.com or message me on Facebook @drnicklahood.
Advanced Chiropractic and Wellness Center
9932 Mercy Rd
San Diego, CA 92129