Herniated Disc Injury
Are you living with a slipped disc or other disc injury in North Augusta? If you have a suspicion that your chronic back pain is being caused by a disc injury, or you have received a diagnosis that confirm you are dealing with this kind of issue, you will probably benefit from seeing a professional chiropractor.
Whether the pain is mild or severe, it is important to deal with it promptly so that the issue does not progress to the point of causing more permanent damage. The following article discusses some of the symptoms of disc injuries with the aim of helping you to understand what you are dealing with. It also goes over how chiropractic may give you immediate relief from the pain and discomfort associated with a disc injury, as well as possible long term recovery.
Disc Injury North Augusta
The little pads that lie between your vertebrae are called the intervertebral discs. Each of these discs has a tough outer ring and a soft gel-like center. Your disc's job is to both join and to separate your vertebrae from one another. These discs act as cushions or shock absorbers, so that the bones don’t make contact with each other as you move around, carry large objects and bend over. Without the discs you would literally be unable to move our upper torso. Here are a few of the different kinds of disc injuries that make movements of the upper torso painful and difficult:
- A protruding disc occurs when the disc become asymmetrical and the gel is pushed out or bulging.
- A herniated disc is when the disc material has ruptured to the point that the gel pushes outward.
- A disc extrusion is the worst type of disc injury. This is when the gel balloons extensively into the area outside the vertebrae or breaks off from the disc.
What is a Herniation or a Bulging Disc?
While discs are extremely strong, they are susceptible to damage and subsequent weakening. Over time, damage to the disc can weaken the annulus allowing the inner nucleus to bulge at the weakened area, or in the most severe cases, herniate completely through. We will refer back to the jelly donut analogy to illustrate this concept. As pressure is applied to the intervertebral disc, it typically causes a slight enlargement on the opposite side of the disc due to a shifting of the fluid nucleus (jelly). For example, when a person bends forward to pick something up they increase the pressure on the front of the disc, causing the jelly (nucleus) to shift to the back. In a healthy disc, the enlargement and fluid will return back to its normal position once the added pressure or stress is removed. However, when the disc has been compromised, it will often remain in its deformed state, causing disruption or even damage to the surrounding structures.
Now that you have an understanding of what a disc is, as well as a herniation and bulge, I’m sure you’re wondering what caused the disc to become weak in the first place. The answer to this question isn’t as easy as you would guess. Typically, the development of pain due to a damaged disc has been building up over time. Lifting that heavy box, tying your shoe, or even coughing may have caused that pain to become noticeable. Prior to the development of pain, factors such as misalignments, osteoarthritis, loss of normal spinal curves, and simple improper posture led to the weakening of the outer annulus of the disc. The moment you noticed the pain, was more than likely the time that the nucleus bulged through the annulus, placing pressure and stress on the surrounding nerves.
Signs and Symptoms of a Disc Injury
All of the above issues tend to result in considerable back pain, numbness and limitation of range of motion due to the irritation of the nerve roots at the point where the injury occurs and the impact this has on the surrounding tissues. A number of distressing symptoms can arise from this nerve irritation and damage, including but not limited to:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Weak legs or feet
- Leg and foot pain, numbness and tingling (also known as sciatica)
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
Chiropractic Care for Disc Injury
Chiropractic care in North Augusta for disc injuries has a proven track record of providing both short-term pain relief and long term recovery. A chiropractic treatment involves a thorough assessment of your medical history and x-rays, as well as a physical examination, in order to determine the extent of the disc injury and the appropriate treatment.
The approach that is taken will be individually tailored to your specific issue but will always include gentle adjustments to the spine to relieve pressure on the nerves and deal with the pain and discomfort. If you have a disc injury, call our team at North Augusta Chiropractic today to receive a consultation and start on the path to recovery.