Chiropractic and Disc Problems
The Discs of the Spine: An Overview
The bones of the spine are separated by tough cartilage pads called intervertebral discs (inter = “between”; vertebral = “bones of the spine”). Healthy discs are thick and flexible (like a wet sponge) allowing a wide range of bending and twisting motions. An unhealthy disc is stiff and hard (like a dry sponge) and prone to injuries such as bulging or herniation. Over time gravity, spinal joint dysfunction and accumulated trauma cause the discs to compress, flatten and degenerate. This constant compression prevents much-needed oxygen and nutrients from entering the disc. This ongoing starvation causes the once-tough outer layers of the disc to soften allowing the disc to become injured or diseased. Bulging Disc damage can occur anywhere in the spine. However, the discs of the neck (cervical spine) and low back (lumbar spine) are the most commonly injured.
Disease of the spinal discs can take many forms. Significant disc damage can lead to a Bulging Disc, become a tear called a Disc Herniation or the inner gelatinous material of the disc can leak out in the case of a Ruptured Disc. The “jelly center” of the disc can also dry out over time which is referred to as Degenerative Disc Disease. All forms of disc injury can eventually impinge on the nerves exiting the spine ("Pinched Nerve") which can create numbness, tingling, burning or sharp pain down the arms or legs. Sharp pain originating from the back and “shooting” down the legs is often referred to as Sciatica.
Bulging Disc : Definition
A Bulging Disc occurs when the tough outer fibers of the spinal disc weaken and stretch allowing the “jelly center” of the disc to “bulge” outward. A Disc Bulge is generally considered the first step toward a more serious problem called a Herniated Disc. A Herniated Disc is similar to a Disc Bulge except that the outer layers of the disc actually weaken to the point of tearing.
Bulging Disc : Symptoms
The majority of symptoms caused by a Bulging Disc are related to irritation of spinal nerves. These nerves exit the spine through small holes called foramen. The spinal discs are located next to these nerve passageways. The bulging of the disc material caused by a Bulging Disc can “pinch” these nerves creating a variety of uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating symptoms.
Bulging Disc of the Neck: Cervical Spine Disc BulgeA Disc Bulge in the low back can cause low back pain or numbness, tingling, burning, sharp pain or weakness in the legs or feet. Sharp pain along the back of the legs is often referred to as Sciatica.
A Bulging Disc in the neck can cause neck pain, or in more severe cases, numbness, tingling, burning, sharp pain or weakness in the arms or hands.
Bulging Disc : Non-Surgical Spinal Traction
Non-Surgical Spinal Traction provides relief to severe back and neck pain sufferers by gently reducing the pressure within spinal discs. The bones of the spine are slowly and methodically separated using the traction table equipment. As the vertebrae are separated pressure is slowly reduced within the disc (intradiscal pressure) until a vacuum is formed. This vacuum “sucks” the gelatinous center of the disc back into the disc thereby reducing the Disc Bulge. Significant disc bulge reduction removes pressure off the spinal nerves and drastically reduce pain and disability. This “sucking” vacuum also pulls much-needed oxygen and nutrients into injured and degenerated discs allowing the healing to begin.
The treatment motion is monitored and performed by our highly trained doctors to provide gentle and painless decompression of the injured spinal discs.
Call Orinda Family Chiropractic today to begin your relief now with one of our chiropractic doctors at 925-258-0850
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