Herniated Disc, disk bulge and slipped disc are all terms that describe damage to one of the many discs found in your back or neck.
What is a Disc?
Between each bone in the spine there is a soft, gel-like pad that provides shock absorption and enables you to bend and twist your spine. Without the intervertebral disc, our spines would be very rigid. However, because of weakness in the surrounding muscles, the spine is weakened and the risk for damage to the discs is greater.
What is a herniated disc?
When the disc is injured it causes a small tear in the walls of the disc causing the soft, gel-like material to leak out in small amounts. This can cause pressure on the nerves that exit the spine often leading to pain or numbness down the legs if the herniated disc is in the low back (lumbar) and down the arms if it is in the neck (cervical).
What Causes It?
Many people that we see in our clinic for back or neck pain have weakened muscles. This achy type of pain is a sure sign that you should be examined by a chiropractor to see what is causing it. Often it's caused by weakness or muscle imbalance which causes added strain on the joints of the spine. Over time, this weakness takes away the added protection around these discs leading them to be injured with something as simple as bending over to pick up a pencil. A herniated disc can also be caused by a significant trauma such as slipping on ice, falling down stairs, a car accident or heavy lifting with poor posture.
There are many options for treatment on a herniated disc but in most cases it is recommended to start with conservative care first before having the more permanent surgery option. Treatment at Chiro Cleveland begins with massage, stretching and the chiropractic adjustment to alleviate tension and reduce swelling around the spinal nerves, followed by exercise to restore strength and balance. The McKenzie Method is taught to help the patient learn how to self-treat their condition along with the therapy while the healing is taking place in the damaged disc.