Degeneration of the spine and disc are of caused by long-standing stress on the structures of your muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, nerves. This stress is normally one that is due to a decreased mobility in the spine.

The spine has been shown to go through 4 phases of degeneration. Below you will find an x-ray which depicts each phase and a short description. The x-rays used are of a cervical spine taken from the side. However, the degeneration shown in the cervical x-rays could just as likely occurred in any area of the spine.

Near Normal X-Ray

All Care Clinics :: X-Rays; Near Normal X-Ray

  • Normal Forward Curves
  • Disc Spaces are even and thick
  • Crisp and Distinct Borders of the Bones

Next Let’s begin to look at how Degeneration of the spine and discs progress.

Phase 1 Subluxation Degeneration

Cervical Spine Phase 1 Subluxation Degeneration This phase is seen in subluxations that have been present for up to twenty years. This phase is characterized by:

  • Loss or change in the normal curve
  • The spaces between the disc are starting to decrease.
  • Clear and distinct borders of the vertebrae are still present.

Your overall movement is not generally affected at this phase, and more than 80% of people in this phase experience no pain.
Chiropractic reconstructive care for a phase one can take up to 18 months. If left uncorrected, progression to phase to is inevitable.


Phase 2 Subluxation Degeneration

Cervical Spine Phase 2 Subluxation Degeneration This phase is normally seen in subluxations that have been present between 20 and 40 years. X-rays of a phase 2 exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Moderate loss of normal curves
  • Mild to moderate decrease in the space between the vertebrae
  • Calcium buildup and cloudy borders of the vertebrae

Symptoms for this phase can include stiff achy joints and decrease range of motion.

Chiropractic reconstructive care for patients in phase two ranges from 1.5 years to 2.5 years. Again, if left uncorrected it will gradually advance to the next phase.


Phase 3 Subluxation Degeneration

Cervical Spine Phase 3 Subluxation Degeneration

Subluxations that have been continuing on for between 40 and 65 years. This phase is marked by the following:

  • Moderate to severe changes in the normal curve of the spine for the associated area. Often with reverse curves noted in the cervical spine.
  • Spaces between the vertebrae are severely decreased, if present at all.
  • Calcium spurs off the corners of the vertebrae.
  • Shape Changes of the Vertebrae.

People in phase three have a restricted range of motion and probably exhibit symptoms of some kind. Chiropractic reconstructive care for patients in phase three ranges from 2.5 years to 3.5 years. However, any calcium buildup and changes in the shape of the vertebrae are mostly permanent at this point. Improvement from this stage is generally measured from a functional point of view. If left untreated this will lead to Phase 4 degeneration.


Phase 4 Subluxation Degeneration

Cervical Spine Phase 4 Subluxation Degeneration The subluxations have been uncorrected or altered for over sixty five years. This phase will negatively affect the patients longevity and quality of life. The massive amount of neurological damage caused by years of subluxation that have lead to phase four are probably taking a serious toll on this person’s health status. X-rays in phase four show serious severe structural changes:

  • Severe to complete loss of normal curvature.
  • The calcium fog noted in Phase 2 and 3 are gone, but that calcium has been changed to bone in the form of spurs and fusion on one or more levels has occurred.
  • Disc spaces are minimal to non-existent.

This person will have severe restriction in range of motion as well as numerous other health problems. Reconstruction may not be possible in phase four. However, care directed a reducing the subluxation can still be of benefit. In fact, many people in this phase of care that have started treatment report improved mobility and quality of life.


Now is the time to have you spine checked for any degeneration.

Do Not Wait Until Nothing Can Be Done