“Slipped Disc” is an antiquated term for a disc herniation. This occurs when gel-like contents of a spinal disc pushes through a tear in the outer lining of the disc. A herniated disc most often occurs in the lower back and lower neck, but can occur anywhere in any region of the spine. The gel-like contents of the disc will often irritate a neighboring nerve or the soft tissue nearby. Typically, a herniated disc occurs when the disc is exposed to a twisting and bending motion simultaneously. Starting an old lawnmower or lifting something heavy out of a car trunk can really lead to trouble. As you get older, your discs become less flexible and therefore more prone to a herniation. Sometimes, you'll be able to pinpoint exactly when you herniated a disc, such as when poor lifting technique was applied. “Lift with your legs, not your back”. It is less likely, but a fall could cause damage to the disc as well.
What does it feel like when a spinal disc is involved?
You may never know you have damage to a disc because if the problem is small and not near any pain sensitive region, you won’t feel a thing. However, if a herniated disc occurs nearby nerves or soft tissue, pain will result. As the condition worsens, a burning sensation may be possible as well. Intensity of symptoms normally correlates with the severity of the condition, but not always. Depending on the location of the herniated disc, you may experience symptoms of weakness, numbness and/or tingling, extending throughout your legs or arms. Severe disc herniation can cause complete disability.
Chiropractor Can Help Disc Herniations Now Due to New Technology
Disc injuries can cause permanent nerve damage so, most importantly, our doctors will do the diagnostic testing necessary to decide on the best method of treatment. This may include an orthopedic and neurological exam, an assessment of your range of motion, and if necessary, a referral for an MRI. MRI is the only procedure that accurately depicts the morphology of the disc and surrounding structures.
If chiropractic care is deemed appropriate when all the information is considered, our chiropractors will recommend a course of treatment. Spinal adjustments have the ability to reduce pressure on these sensitive discs. In most cases, a series of treatments is necessary to experience optimal results.
Our doctors may also suggest spinal decompression therapy. This state-of-the-art table houses a computerized and automated traction unit which allows your doctor to adjust every aspect of the pull, from its direction to the strength and duration of the pull. The traction is gentle, painless, and often gives immediate relief to someone experiencing a bulging disc condition. While you are under traction, gravity no longer has an effect on your disc. This causes decreased pressure on the surrounding nerves, and lets nutrifying blood flow to the area without interruption so healing can take place.