An intervertebral disc is made up of an outer, fibrous ring, and a central soft portion. The disc itself receives nourishment through the motion of the vertebrae above and below it moving and “squishing” the blood and fluids through the disc. If this movement does not occur, the outer ring can dry and tear which allows the soft portion of the disc to bulge out. This is what is commonly known as a herniated disc. (Also called a slipped disc, bulging disc, disc protrusion, etc.)
Not all herniated discs cause pain or discomfort. It is when the bulge puts pressure on the exiting spinal nerve that pain, or an inflammatory reaction, will occur. It is therefore very important to have a full understanding of what is causing the pain.
Causes of a herniated disc:
- Physical stress (fall, lifting heavy weight, car accident)
- Repetitive stress (continuous bending & twisting, sleeping patters)
What is a Subluxation:
Subluxation is when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of position. The result can be a herniated disc. If this creates pressure on spinal nerves, problems will result. This pressure or irritation on the nerves causes the nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves.
Symptoms can be one or more of the following:
- Pain spreading over the buttocks, down the back of one thigh, and into the calf
- Pain may be in one leg (more common) or both legs
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs or feet
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both arms
- In severe cases, inability to find comfort even lying down
- Sudden aching or twisted neck that cannot be straightened without severe pain
- Bowel or bladder changes and/or numbness in the groin
Can Chiropractic help:
A Doctor of Chiropractic is trained to locate subluxations, and reduce or correct them. This can be accomplished through a series of chiropractic adjustments designed to correct the vertebral subluxations in your spine. Chiropractors are the only professionals who undergo years of training to be experts at correcting subluxations. There are methods to decompress the vertebrae which allow the disc the ability to heal itself.
Prevention is the key:
The best way to prevent a herniated disc is to take care of your spine & Nervous System. Subluxation is your body’s way of adapting to stress which over time weakens the joint & all around it including where the particular nerve is communicating with. (muscle, organ or pain sensory) Lifting a heavy object with a subluxated spine obviously increases your chances of a herniation than if you didn’t have a subluxation.