The Stages of Spinal Degeneration.

Lumbar and Cervical version. See cervical only version here.

Proper chiropractic care is an integral part of the prevention, reversal, and stopping of spinal degeneration. This chiropractic chart uses radiographs of different phases of spinal degeneration/decay, along with an autonomic nervous system illustration, to demonstrate the correlation between spinal health and overall health.

You can easily compare this resource to your patient’s X-ray to better educate your patients on the spinal changes that may occur as they age and/or due to poor lifestyle and injuries.

We recommend combining this poster with our X-ray poster.

Read full text below.

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The Stages of Spinal Degeneration.


Vertebrae are smooth, healthy and perfectly aligned.
The curvature is normal and there is equal spacing between the vertebrae.
The openings (neural foramina) between the vertebrae allow the nerves to exit freely without interference.

Stage I:

Lack of mobility/fixation prohibits fluid to pump in & out of the discs, thus the discs dry out becoming thinner and less supportive.
There is a loss of curvature and narrowing of the neural foramina which will lead to nerve damage.
Pain & fatigue are likely symptoms.
This stage is often reversible.

Stage II:

There is a significant loss of normal spinal curve and disc space.
Loss of energy and reduced height are probable symptoms.
Bone adapt to the forces and loads under which it is placed.
As a result, bone deformation such as calcium deposits and bone spurs (osteophytes) develop.

Stage III:

Cartilage and bone are degenerating.
Bones fuse causing joint immobilization – inability to turn, bend and twist.
There is irreparable nerve damage.
Constant pain and discomfort are common.
This stage is generally irreversible.

Receiving chiropractic care in time is key to prevent, reverse or stop spinal degeneration.


18" x 24" / 50 x 70cm (EUROPE & OCEANIA), 24" x 36" / 70 x 100cm (EUROPE & OCEANIA)


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