The intervertebral disc, which supports a shape similar to that of a hockey puck, is found sandwiched between all of the vertebrate of your spinal column. The purpose of a disc is to act as a spacer and shock absorber for your spine. Structurally, a disc resembles that of a jelly donut – it has an inner jelly-like center (nucleus pulposus) surrounded by layers of rigid fibrous tissue (annulus fibrosis).
Due to poor blood circulation, injured discs take a long time to heal. Consequently, discs rely on the circulation of joint fluids to acquire nutrients and release wastes. If the movement of joint fluid is diminished, the disc will receive a minuscule amount of nutrients. Over time, this lack of nutrition contributes to the degeneration of the disc.
The majority of individuals who suffer from disc injuries are between the ages of twenty and forty. Many of these people seek the aid of a professional, convinced that they have “a slipped disc.” This is a common misconception – due to the anatomical way that a disc is attached to the vertebrate above and below, it is impossible for a disc to slip. In essence, an injured disc will bulge or possibly herniate.
Bulging or herniating discs can result in nerve root irritation and produce symptoms such as:
Excruciating back pain
Antalgia (pain with movement)
Sharp shooting “electrical” pain down the limbs
Reduced muscle strength
Loss or change of sensation - numbness & tingling
Loss of organ function
The goals of chiropractic treatment of disc problems are to reduce the disc bulge/herniation, restore normal spinal motion, and promote optimal healing of the soft tissues. While Chiropractic cannot guarantee success when treating patients with disc problems, it has helped many patients avoid the need for drugs and/or surgery.
If you are experiencing lower back pain do yourself a favour and set up an appointment with your Comox Chiropractor, Dr. Houlgrave. He will be able to diagnose your ailment and help you find an appropriate course of treatment.