Most spinal disc problems are symptomatic, they are often painful and restrict your movement.
Sometimes however their may be no pain associated with a disc problem, although there may be different signs, numbness, pins and needles and weakness.
What causes a disc injury?
The spinal discs are made of very hard cartilage with a softer jelly-like fluid in the middle of the cartilage that acts as the shock absorbers for the spine. The discs separate the vertebrae and allow the spine to move and flex. The discs also allow the spinal nerves to exit from the spinal cord. The integrity of the foramen where the nerve passes through is maintained by the height of the discs. The higher the disc height the better. These spinal nerves convey messages from the brain to the body and the body to the brain.
The main injury to the discs occurs after repeated inappropriate bending, lifting and twisting. It is important to realize though, discs do not lose their integrity or become subject to injury over night, it is usually over a long period of time, where the spine has been functioning poorly and the vertebrae have lost their normal range of movement. This increases the pressure on the discs; it decreases the integrity of the cartilage in the disc making it more susceptible to splitting or bulging and can be caused through even simple movements such as bending, twisting, coughing or sneezing.
What type of disc injuries are there?
There are many different terms used to describe a poorly functioning spine. Some of the most common terms include a bulging disc, ruptured disc, herniated disc, collapsed disc, disc protrusion, dessicated disc, disc degeneration, spondylolysis and even a torn disc.
All these names describe disc problems.
Are you experiencing these symptoms?
When you have a disc problem the type and severity of the symptoms can vary enormously. From little or no pain, to pain of the highest order when the disc bulges or touches the nerve directly. For this reason it is important to be thoroughly assessed by one of our Chiropractors to determine the underlying cause.
Your symptoms may include sharp radiating pain, pins and needles, numbness and weakness in the muscles. The most common discs to fail are at the L4/5, L5/S1 levels.
Disc injuries are also often the cause of sharp radiating pain down the back of the legs, commonly referred to as sciatica. When these discs impact their corresponding nerve roots, severe lower back pain can often result. Further symptoms can also develop down into the buttocks, thighs, legs and feet.
We are here to help!
Chiropractors are clinically trained to assess and identify the presence of disc involvement by using a range of diagnostics tools and tests. At Somerville Chiropractic, we will develop a management plan to firstly decrease your symptoms and allowing your body to begin healing and then help to show you how to prevent a reoccurrence of your disc injury.
Xrays or other tests may be recommended to provide further insight for the chiropractor as well as to help you better understand your condition.
What is important to understand is our treatment is specifically tailored to you and your injury. We may utilize other modalities in order to provide you with the best outcome.
In addition to your spinal adjustments your chiropractor may also provide soft tissue therapy (massage), core stabilisation and strengthening exercises, stretching, heat/cold therapy, or refer you to see another practitioner for further treatment to complement their care.