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Disc Degeneration, Herniations, and Protrusions

Often people suffer from neck or back pain as a result of unhealthy discs. This condition can commonly be referred to as a “slipped disc.” While in the body, the disc cannot slip, it can become unhealthy due to injury or repetitive motion.  Weakness in the disc or the surrounding structures can cause it to wedge, bulge, protrude, and/or herniate. Chiropractic care and our DISC-covery Program (a Disc Recovery Program) may help.

Structural Spinal Support

Tube with toothpaste leaking out

The most serious disc problem is a prolapsed disc in which the soft center ruptures and leaks.

The disc is a special cartilage between the bones of your spinal column. It attaches to the vertebra above and below it. This creates the separation between spinal bones so pairs of nerves can exit the spine and provides support for the spine.

Essential for Turning and Bending

Each spinal disc has a jelly-like “ball bearing” core that is contained by bands of fibrous tissue. Healthy discs give you flexibility for normal turning and bending. Improper lifting, slips, falls and car accidents can weaken the disc and even cause the core to shift:

Herniation - disc wedging narrows openings for nerves in the spinal column. Obvious symptoms may not be present.

Protrusion – like a blister, the disc bulges where it is the weakest and most irritated. This often causes nerve pressure and symptoms such as numbness, pain, tingling, and even loss of function of an area of the body.

Prolapse – the unhealthy disc is no longer able to cushion and provide structural support for the spine; it can be compromised by rupture and movement is painful.

Chiropractic First

Chiropractic has been an effective, natural solution helping people with a variety of disc problems.

Here are the facts:

  1. Chiropractic Works Just as Well as Spinal Injections – Two recent studies found that chiropractic is equally effective as spinal injections, costs less money, and has few, if any, side effects. This was found to be true for both cervical and lumbar disc herniations!
  2. Spinal Injections Increase Risk of Bone Fractures – A study from 2013 found that every single epidural spinal injection increases the risk of spinal fractures by 21%!
  3. Surgery is Risky – Did you know that up to 74% of back surgeries fail and leave patients in pain?
  4. Chiropractic is one of the best and most effective ways to treat back and neck pain, whether it’s caused by disc herniation or other problems. In fact, even the AMA recommends trying chiropractic before resorting to surgery!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How does chiropractic help disc problems?
    The purpose of chiropractic care is to locate and correct areas of the spine interfering with the proper nervous system control of your body. Because the intervertebral discs are so close to the spinal cord and nerve roots, disc involvement is quite common in chiropractic cases. Chiropractic adjustments and techniques help restore proper motion and position of malfunctioning spinal bones, reducing nervous system involvement. If caught before permanent damage, disc tissue often returns to a more normal size and shape by restoring proper motion and position of affected spinal joints. Click here to learn about Powell Chiropractic’s safe and effective disc recovery program, DISC-covery
  • Aren’t disc problems simply the normal aging process?
    No. However, many disc problems are the result of years of neglect. Many spinal problems are nonsymptomatic until the advanced stages of degeneration. There are many cases of elderly patients who have maintained their spine throughout their lives who enjoy excellent spinal health and function.
  • I didn’t do anything so how can a disc be involved?
    This is a common refrain. Because our bodies are unusually adaptive, we can often accommodate a variety of stresses for years. Finally, like the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” we turn or bend funny and suddenly our spine succumbs to the accumulation of stress.