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Persistent subluxations in keeping with Wolff's law 1, over time, cause progressive spinal degeneration as a result of healing with abnormal mechanical stress applied to bone.
From "normal" the degenerative process starts with injury, (a knock or bump than can be graded form mild to severe. Once an injury has occurred, the degenerative phases (stages) 1 to 4 begin
In Phase 1 is a misalignment of one or more of the vertebrae with or without soft tissue injury.
Phase 3 and 4 neck joints - a close up view is shown on the right
Phase 2 Vertebral body also showing compression injury of the body it being squashed on the front margin (left of photo). Note the bone spur at the margins of the vertebral bodies.
T8 & T9 levels are Phase 3. Here the marginal regions of the bones are forming a bridge between the vertebrae.
In the absence of any bone changes or obvious disc narrowing this Retrolisthesis is also classed as a Phase 1 degeneration