Ever heard the expression or someone saying that they have a “slipped disc”? A disc cannot and do not slip, but what it can do is wedge, bulge, protrude and herniate.
First of all, what is a disc?
The spine is made up of vertebrae, which have cartilage discs between them. The discs act as both a shock absorber and a shock distributor. If you jump up and down, imagine what would happen to the stack of bony vertebra that make up the spine without the cushioning of the discs. The discs are also attached to the vertebra above and below it. This creates the separation between the spinal bones so pairs of nerves can exit the spine. Each spinal disc has a jelly-like “ball bearing” core that is contained by bands of fibrous tissue. Healthy discs give you flexibility for normal turning and bending, without discs, the spine simply could not function. Improper lifting, slips, falls, car accidents and years on neglect can cause the core to shift, which can result in;
Herniation – when there is a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of the disc, which allows the soft, central portion to bulge out.
Protrusion – like a blister, the disc bulges where it is the weakest, causing nerve pressure.
Prolapse – with the cushioning and separating compromised by rupture, movement is painful.
Rupture – this can be quite painful, as the soft center of the disc leaks, putting pressure on the adjacent nerve roots and spinal cord.
Bulge – is when the inner fibers of the outer portion of the disc tear, allowing the inner material to cause a bulge, kind of like a bad tyre.
Back surgery is extremely invasive, and because surgery is not always totally successful in correcting the problem, it would be wise to seek out the services of a doctor of Chiropractic first, to try a more conservative procedure.
How can Chiropractic care help me with my disc problems?
Chiropractic care (which involves no use of surgery or drugs) is chosen by many patients who embrace this alternative approach to treat the cause of back pain. Chiropractic is the worlds’ third largest healthcare profession and had established itself as a mainstay in the back care industry.
The purpose of Chiropractic care is to remove interferences in the nerves, caused by the bones of the spine putting pressure on the nerves of the spine. Early diagnosis is the best way to begin because if the interference is caught early Chiropractic care can prevent from any permanent damage occurring.
To prevent suffering from a “slipped disc” look after your spine, have good nutrition, good posture, exercise, and practice safe lifting of heavy objects.
But most importantly visit your chiropractor regularly!
Eliyahu, B. (1996) Magnetic resonance imaging and clinical follow-up: study of 27 patients receiving chiropractic care for cervical and lumbar disc herniations. Journal on manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 19(9).
Erikson, K. (1998) Management of cervical disc herniation with upper cervical chiropractic care. Journal on manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 21(1).