This is a very interesting picture regarding the incredible power and adaption of nature. This tree grew around the fence that was placed too near to it. As the tree grew larger in size, it changed, and adapted to the forces and stresses that the steel fence placed on it. This is called "Wolfs Law", which means that your spine or bones just like the tree, will mold themselves based upon the amount of forces or stress that they are placed under. The more stress and strain that you place on the spinal vertebra, your body will not only adapt, conform, and react to these additional stressors. These stressors can be in the form of improper posture, bad ergonomics or repetitive habits. Or it could be where you were involved in a auto accident, a slip or fall, which may have knocked/thrown your spine out of alignment, which caused your body to adapt to these misalignments.
When your bones are misaligned and are not allowed to freely move in the direction they are supposed to, your vertebral joints will react to these forces and stressed upon them. These stressors form increased levels of bone and calcium, which is where we get the arthritic condition like degenerative disc disease. This abnormal alignment causes additional wear and tear and stress on your spine. This degenerative disc disease or arthritis (not systemic ones) which at times is called a "aging process" and my thought to that is... if it was truly a aging process, why didn't this arthritis occur at every single level in your spine, not just to the one where the higher levels of stress and strain are placed on it. Because all of your freely moveable 24 vertebrae are the same age, Right?. Just as in the picture, the additional growth of the tree that forms around the fence is very similar to the arthritis that forms in a misaligned or injured area. Overtime your body tries to stabilize itself and heal as best as it can by putting additional calcium and osteophytes (bone growth) in the area to create a better stability point.
Now my point of this picture is to show you that your body will change and adapt as need be when you have a injury, trauma or additional repetitive stress. It is extremely important that you make sure that every single spinal area has the proper alignment because your spinal column will wear and tear, and start to fuse itself to other areas or vertebra around it, just as a tree in the picture. Current research does show that within just a few weeks of having an injury, this causes joint dysfunction and misalignment in your spine, causing the degenerative process to occur in your spine . So my best advice is to get your spine checked regularly, especially after a injury to ensure the your body doesn't have any additional stressors placed on it.. so you can function and move at your best level. Thanks for reading, Dr. Joe.