If you suffer from a herniated disc, you're familiar with the symptoms – the pain, the aches, and the numbness may be all-too familiar. However, do you physically know what is occurring in your spine?
Despite what you may think, the spine is not technically all one piece – it is made of many smaller pieces known as “vertebrae”. There are 24 vertebrate in total, segmented into five different sections. Between these vertebrate are soft, malleable discs known as “intervertebral discs”. These discs cushion your vertebrate, allowing you to run, jump, bend, and more without damaging your spine.
These intervertebral discs are composed of two parts – the outer “annulus fibrosus”, and the inner “nucleus pulposus”. The inner area is the malleable jelly, similar to the gel from a orthopedic shoe insert. This jelly moves and slides around to the spots that it is most needed, protecting the spine in whatever position it may be in. The outer part of the disc, the ring, serves as a simple protective barrier, allowing the jelly to move freely while still staying firmly between the vertebrate. It helps to think of the discs as similar in shape and form as a jelly donut.
A disc herniation occurs when the annulus fibrosus (the protective barrier of the disc) is stressed, strained, or otherwise damaged. The wall begins to buckle, and the jelly inside starts to push into areas of the wall it was never meant to go in. This push creates a sort of bubble in the wall, which then pushes on other nerves that sit along your spine, which in turn creates the infamous back pain and sciatica of a herniated disc.
The real danger comes if the wall breaks down completely in one area, freeing the jelly. The jelly will spread, pinching nerves and even cutting off their blood supply. This will often cause incredible numbness and/or weakness to your legs. The danger is that nerves may be killed this way, causing life-long damage and/or pain. Please see a doctor of your numbness in your legs increased dramatically, or if you have loss of bladder control.
Estero chiropractor Dr.Green treats herniated, bulging discs with non-invasive treatments such as chiropractic adjustments, exercise therapy, and massage therapy. Chiropractic adjustments will ease pressure on any pinched or irritated nerves, and facilitate blood flow and oxygen to the injured disc. Recent research has suggested chiropractic adjustments are as effective as epidural steroid injections for relieving disc herniation. We see the success of chiropractic care for herniated discs every day in our Estero, FL clinic. For relief of back pain and sciatica caused by herniated, bulging discs, contact Chiropractic Care and Rehab Center today.