Disc Disorders and Treatment at Health First Chiropractic Marysville
Disc disorders can occur at any point in the spine. Patients often come to a chiropractor because of the symptoms, which can include pain and disability. A herniated disc or bulging disc can press on the spinal cord or nerves. Herniated disc symptoms can be obvious or more subtle. Here’s some basic information about disc disorders, courtesy of Health First, in Marysville WA.
What is a Herniated Disc?
Most of the vertebrae in the spine are separated and cushioned by rounded structures of cartilage securely attached to the vertebrae above and below them. There is no disc between C1 and C2, the top two discs in the spine. These pliant but strong discs prevent the bones of the vertebrae from rubbing against each other and the gelatin-like center provides cushioning and flexibility to the spine. With age or injury, however, discs can become damaged and break down. An acute injury may result in the disc bulging out into the spinal canal, placing pressure on the spinal cord itself. Degeneration may mean there is less cushioning effect, resulting in pain. A herniated disc can occur anywhere in the spine.
Herniated Disc Symptoms
As we age, the spinal discs start to dry out, which means decreased flexibility and shock absorption properties. The discs can develop small tears. The combination of these factors results in back or neck pain. Sometimes a disc will rupture, bulging out into the spinal canal and putting direct pressure on the nerve. This causes significant inflammation and irritation, which results in numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain radiating down one or both extremities (arms or legs). The specific symptoms are indicative of the actual location of the herniated disc. A herniated disc in the low back, for example, is usually accompanied by leg pain.
Chiropractic Treatment for Herniated Disc Symptoms
Chiropractic treatment cannot heal the bulging disc. The goals are to relieve symptoms, reduce pain and strengthen the spine. If you have loss of bowel or bladder function, or more advanced symptoms such as significant loss of strength, sensation, and reflexes, a chiropractor will usually refer you to a spine surgeon. For less severe conditions, however, chiropractic techniques such as spinal adjustments, flexion/distraction treatments, muscle stimulation or manipulation under anesthesia can be helpful in relieving pain. Targeted exercises, nutritional supplements, ultrasound, and massage are other possibilities. These drug-free therapies are designed to pull the disc off the spinal cord and increase the health of the spine.
Contact Our Health First Chiropractic Marysville in Marysville, WA!
If you have back or neck pain or herniated disc symptoms, please contact our office at (360) 658-1987. We offer a complimentary first visit as well as extended hours. Located at 1519 9th Street, Suite 101, we serve Marysville, WA and the surrounding areas of Snohomish County.