Each set of bones (vertebrae) in your spine are cushioned by a disc that makes movement easier. This disc also acts as a “shock absorber” to keep the bones from rubbing against one another any time you move.
When a disc moves out of its proper place, it’s called a ruptured, bulging, herniated or slipped disc. All these terms mean the same thing – the disc is damaged. A person with a damaged disc can experience loss of movement in the area of the damaged disc, resulting in back pain. And… if the disc exerts pressure on a nerve that is exiting the spine, other areas of the body can be affected as well.
What causes a damaged disc?
- Normal wear and tear on the disc that results from the aging process (disc degeneration). This can cause a loss of fluid (nourishment) that discs need to remain soft and flexible.
- Sudden movement or lifting a heavy object may result in injury to the disc.
- Repetitive movements that put stress on the spine, such as sports, improper lifting techniques, etc., can cause disc damage.
If a damaged disc doesn’t press on a nerve, there may be very mild pain or no pain at all. However, if the disc places pressure on a nerve, the area of the body affected by the nerve may experience pain, numbness, “pins and needles,” muscle spasms or weakness.
Typical medical treatment usually includes pain management medications, exercise, physical therapy or surgery if the condition does not resolve itself. However, chiropractic care is a conservative, non-invasive, all-natural approach to healing herniated discs.
Chiropractors are trained to locate and correct nerve interference in the spine caused by bones that have shifted out of place. In the case of a herniated disc that interferes with proper nerve function, chiropractors administer a series of low force adjustments that can facilitate healing of the damaged disc.