You may never think about the flexible vertebral discs that protect the spinal column against bumps and jolts until something goes wrong with them, in which case they can pretty hard to ignore.
A bulging or herniated disc can cause a host of uncomfortable and/or disabling problems, from intermittent pain in your back or neck to odd neurological misfires in your legs or arms. This level of unpleasantness may even have you considering surgery — but hold that thought for now. Back to Mind Chiropractic can prescribe non-invasive herniated or bulging disc treatment to help you recover your everyday function and comfort.
Vertebral discs take a lot of everyday abuse — but that’s their job. A disc consists of a fibrous casing shaped roughly like a hockey puck (known as the annulus), which is filled with a gel-like fluid interior material (known as the nucleus). This structure gives the discs a springy quality that allows it to absorb shock. The disc also maintains a consistent space between the vertebrae. This is important because it provides a stress-free spacing for the facet joints that join and articulate those vertebrae. But discs can and do develop problems, and when have problems, so do you.
Have you heard the terms “slipped disc,” “bulging disc,” and “herniated disc” without understanding what these terms mean? Broadly speaking, a slipped disc (which doesn’t actually “slip” out of the spinal column) refers to a condition in which a vertebral disc extends outward beyond the area normally reserved for it in the spinal column. Both bulging discs and herniated discs can fit this description.
Bulging discs commonly occur when the fluid interior loses some of its water, a natural side effect of aging. The less content the nucleus contains, the flatter and broader the disc becomes. If it bulges out far enough to pinch nerves, you may experience:
Back or neck pain may also occur because the reduced space between the vertebrae tugs on the facet joints. This can cause chronic inflammation and even osteoarthritis. A herniated disc takes the discomfort one step further. Under sufficient stress, the annulus of a bulging disc may weaken and rupture. The tearing of the sensitive annulus can cause severe pain, while the leakage of material from the nucleus (which has inflammatory properties) can irritate nerve tissue above and beyond any impingement it may cause. Acute injuries such as auto accident injuries also cause herniated discs.
Whether you have the beginnings of a bulging disc or a full-blown herniation, rest assured that these conditions, painful as they are, don’t necessarily require surgery. Unless your problem is unusually severe or extensive, you can most likely get good results from conservative bulging or herniated disc treatment.
Our bulging and herniated disc doctor at Back to Mind Chiropractic, Dr. Gady Abramson, has years of experience helping South Florida residents with disc issues. The first step is to undergo a thorough examination. We will administer X-rays and other procedures to figure out exactly which discs are involved and exactly what they’re doing to your spine. We can also diagnose any underlying misalignment or postural problem that may have made you especially vulnerable.
Once we’ve identified that errant disc and the reasons behind it, we can administer precise, safe techniques to correct or manage it. Non-surgical spinal decompression to is particularly valuable for bulging or herniated disc treatment. This technique uses harnesses to anchor you to a computer-controlled treatment table. The table provides just enough mechanical traction to pull the vertebrae around the disc ever so slightly apart. This creates vacuum pressure within the gap, pulling the protruding part of the disc back into the spinal column and relieving those pinched nerve symptoms. Bulging disc sufferers will love the fact that the vacuum pressure pulls fluids back into the nucleus of the disc, adding disc height and reducing facet joint strain.
Our other therapies may also do you a world of good. Chiropractic adjustments can correct imbalances that put extra stress on the discs, while massage and physiotherapy can help you get over other damage sustained in an acute injury.