Slipped disc, bulging disc, herniated disc, protruding discs, prolapsed disc, ruptured disc – there are so many names for spinal disc injury! All describe injury to the fibers or internal structure of the spinal disc.
A Look Inside a Spinal Disc
The spinal discs are the cushions that sit between the spinal bones, which are called vertebra. In the center of the disc is the nucleus, surrounded by concentric layers of annular fibers that look like the rings of an onion. This structure gives the disc strength plus mobility.
Movement Equals Life to a Spinal Disc
In a healthy spinal disc, the pressure carried inside the disc is so high that blood vessels and nerves cannot grow within the inner two thirds of the disc. Inside the disc is a watery-gelatinous material that carries the nutrients into the disc from the spinal bones above and below the disc, and pushes the wastes out. This circulation effect of the disc fluid is created by the movement between the spinal joints, creating a fluid pump.
Spinal Subluxation and Disc Injury
When the spinal joints become stuck, or less mobile from spinal subluxation, the disc does not get nutrients easily and accumulates wastes because the disc fluid cannot circulate well from the lack of spinal joint mobility. Kind of like when you turn the filter pump off to your pool – the stagnant water turns green with gunk accumulating! This sets the stage for disc degeneration and can make it easier to create further disc injury.
When a disc is injured, the annular fibers are damaged, or torn. This can allow the nucleus in the center of the disc to shift or essentially ooze toward the outer edges of the disc. Sort of like the jelly inside a jelly donut oozing to outside if you stepped on the center of the jelly donut. Disc injuries can occur suddenly or slowly over time.
Disc Injury Pain
The problem is that the spinal cord and spinal nerves are very close to the disc and can get pressure exerted upon them when a spinal disc injury such as a “slipped disc” or herniated disc. This can create severe pain such as sciatica or arm pain or hand numbness.
Injured Disc Symptoms
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Weakness in the arm, hand, leg, or foot
- Numbness of the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Pain in the arms or legs
- Increased pain with coughing, sneezing, laughing, or straining on the toilet
- Increased low back pain or leg pain with sitting
Severe disc injury signs include loss of bowel or bladder control and the inability to stand or walk on the toes or heels.
Fortunately, chiropractic care often provides excellent relief of pain from disc injury. Chiropractic also helps to restore mobility to the spinal joints, thereby reducing disc inflammation and aiding in the healing of injured discs.
A Sacramento Chiropractor with Dedicated Care for Disc Injury
Dr. Jeri Anderson, a Sacramento chiropractor at Capitol Chiropractic, has over 25 years of experience caring for disc injuries such as disc herniation, bulging discs, disc protrusions, etc. Dr. Jeri has training in the Cox Technic for disc injury, which includes spinal decompression and flexion/distraction to reduce the inflammation and pressure in an injured disc.
Relief of Spinal Disc Pain Begins with a Phone Call
Disc injuries can be exceedingly painful. If you are suffering from disc pain, please call Capitol Chiropractic now at (916) 368-1600. Let’s see if you are a candidate for care with Dr. Jeri for your disc injury and open the door to healing!