Condition: Herniated Disc
Herniated Disc Overview: Description, Symptoms, Eddy Family Chiropractic's Treatment Plan
What is a herniated disc?
Discs are spongy "cushions" located between each pair of spine bones (vertebrae). Their function is to protect the spine and the nerves that run through it from shocks and jolts while also helping the spine remain flexible. Discs are composed of a fibrous outer layer called the annulus that surrounds a gel-filled interior portion called the nucleus pulposus.
Sometimes, a disc can slip out of position, extending beyond the edges of the vertebrae and pressing against nerves as they exit the spine while also irritating and inflaming surrounding tissues. This is called a herniated disc. In some cases, the disc can rupture and some of the interior gel can leak out, causing additional irritation and inflammation.
What symptoms do herniated discs cause?
Herniated discs can cause local pain, tenderness and dull aching at the site of inflammation, and they can also cause pain, numbness, tingling and burning sensations all along the pathway of the nerve that's being compressed.
In the neck, compressed nerves can cause a condition called cervical radiculopathy, with symptoms radiating from the neck into the shoulders, arms and upper back. In the lower back, herniated discs are associated with sciatica, a painful condition that causes symptoms to travel through the hips, buttocks and legs. Without proper care, herniated discs can cause muscle weakness and loss of coordination as well as long-term disability.
How can Eddy Family Chiropractic treat my herniated disc?
Herniated discs may be treated with a series of spinal adjustments aimed at coaxing the spine into its proper alignment so the disc can resume its normal position. Typically several adjustments are needed to move the disc slowly back into place.
Adjustments are often accompanied by therapeutic massage and gentle stretching exercises to reduce pain and inflammation while also promoting faster healing. Lifestyle changes like losing excess weight, being more physically active, using better ergonomics at work, postural correction therapy and even wearing more supportive shoes can all help treat or prevent herniated discs by avoiding uneven strain on the back and ensuring the spine is properly supported.