In a textbook normal spine, note the C-shaped curve, the disc spaces are equal and there are no visible signs of degenerative changes. There is no nerve pressure present here.
In Phase I of spinal degeneration, the alignment of the spine is altered, note the loss of the C-shaped curve, the disc spaces are uneven or sometimes can remain normal. Symptoms and degenerative changes may be present. Nerve tissues become irritated. This appearance indicates a time period between 1 month & 5 years.
In Phase II of spinal degeneration, the alignment continues to deteriorate, and disc narrowing is present. Degenerative changes progress and bone spurs are present. Nerve tissues are irritated and begin to atrophy. This appearance is indicative of a time period of 5 to 35 years.
In Phase III of spinal degeneration, the joint space is no longer visualized. Bone spurs progress to fuse the involved joint. Nerve Tissue atrophy occurs. Despite permanent damage, some relief is possible. Chronic health issues may have also resulted.
phases of degeneration