One of the most common causes of back pain is a bulging or herniated disc. These conditions can occur at a moment’s notice or gradually develop over time due to muscular imbalances and improper posture. Chiropractic is often the best first line of defense in managing these conditions. Before you talk to a surgeon or go to a pain management doctor, less invasive options such as chiropractic and physical therapy are usually indicated. Your local chiropractor can diagnosis your condition and help determine what the best next step is. NEW lin dcaonbfof oiffi ofof oefohfoi fofbfnblds fewofihoeifh ihfoldsi foliedf ledfihdofihd fldsifnoli gfolihdlsif lifnhld sifhdso
How the Disc Works
When a disc is compromised or stressed, the nerve fibers which sense pain in the disc, become extremely aggravated causing a mess of painful reactions and inflammation. When this occurs, a person suffers tremendously. Even simple tasks such as sitting, rolling over in bed and bending over are nearly impossible.The discs of the spine receive nourishment through blood vessels into a person’s early twenties. Over the years the normal aging process dehydrates the discs making them thinner. This process is called degeneration and is synonymous with arthritis. People with a history of trauma such as whiplash and sports injuries will degenerate more rapidly than others.
At the core of each disc is a jelly-like substance, called the nucleus. Excessive stress and degeneration cause the jelly-like material inside the disc to “bulge” or “slip” out of place. As this occurs, the bulge itself puts pressure on other structures near the disc, such as nerves causing intense pain. A person suffering from this condition may feel pain down their leg and experience tingling in their foot. When symptoms progress to this stage it is usually described as sciatica or radiculopathy.
All though discs conditions can lead to surgery most diagnoses are manageable with chiropractic and core strengthening. For more information on how to properly strengthen your core visit our Back Tracks Page.
Question: Bulging discs are most common in the neck and low back. When severe they can refer pain into an arm or leg. Advanced cases can even lead to weakness in an extremity. A doctor that suspects a disc bulge or herniation will ask questions to determine if the patient pain patterns are following that of a specific nerve.
Assess: Ranges of motion, orthopedics tests, X-rays, and postural exams are all ways to assess where a bulging is and its severity. Bulging discs are typically very painful and provoke sharp shooting pains. A proper physical examination will help a doctor rule in or out the possibility of disc involvement.
Plan: Chiropractic care can help the body naturally remove the nerve interference that occurs and causes pain with bulging discs. Exercises and strengthening the structures around the disc are also important in treatment. Cases that do not see involvement relatively quickly should consider MRI.
Execute: A treatment plan with a doctor may include adjustments and manual therapy as well as exercises to strengthen the core and the muscles of the back. For certain cases decompression and traction can also be helpful. If a bulging disc is extremely severe and not responding to treatment, an MRI or surgery may be the next step.