The debilitating pain caused by a herniated disc is unfortunately all too common. This condition is the end result of a longer process of degeneration. Fortunately, chiropractic care can provide relief for most simple herniated disc injuries.
A herniated disc is commonly referred to as a slipped disc. Cartilaginous discs, situated between each vertebra in the spine, act as shock absorbers for your back. They provide cushioning between the hard, bony vertebrae that make up the spine. A disc injury is more accurately referred to as a bulge or a rupture, where the bulging disc puts pressure on nerves and can no longer function properly.
A herniated disc occurs as the end result of a degenerative process. Underlying factors of a disc injury may include:
- disc dehydration, where insufficient water absorption ages the tissues and causes rigidity;
- unusual types of stress on the discs, and
- excessive weight on the discs.
These factors cause slow degeneration of disc quality, leading eventually to the herniation. A rupture can occur through sudden movement, such as lifting a heavy item or even sneezing. It is important to note that the act of sudden movement is not the cause; the degenerative process is what causes the disc to ultimately slip.
Most simple herniated disc injuries can be treated with low-force chiropractic techniques or with traditional alignment methods. However, more extreme disc injuries that involve an advanced loss of strength, sensation or reflexes should be referred to a spine specialist for further evaluation and intensive treatment.