What is a spinal disc?
The spine itself is made up of bones called vertebrae which are separated by spinal discs. The purpose of these discs is to act like shock absorbers for the spine. Discs consist of a very tough outer layer of cartilage with a soft, jelly-like fluid in the middle. A great analogy for a spinal disc is to think of a jam donut. It has a tougher outer layer of bread and a thinner jam fluid in the middle.The spinal discs are what allow the flexibility and motion in the spine. The discs also allow an exit and entry point for spinal nerves from the spinal cord. These spinal nerves pass the discs and allow messages to be carried from the brain to the body. When disc injuries occur, the disc material itself can impact on the spinal nerves. This is often the cause of intense lower back pain or neck pain with further symptoms to other areas of the body.
What causes disc injuries?
The main cause of disc injury in the spine is inappropriate bending, twisting or lifting causing disc damage. Quite often, disc injuries are caused by a build-up of minor damage over time. These minor episodes usually involve repetitive poor posture, poor lifting or poor bending techniques. These episodes increase pressure on the discs over time, until a small movement such as standing up or bending, finally causes the disc to fail. Increased disc pressure over an extended period of time can also cause the disc to wear and increase the chance of the disc failing as this process continues.
What type of disc injuries are there?
There are many different terms used to describe spinal disc injuries. Some of the most common terms include “herniated disc”, “pinched nerve”, “slipped disc” and “bulging disc”. A variety of additional terms such as ruptured disc, torn disc, collapsed disc, disc protrusion, disc disease, and spondylosis can add even more confusion. Most of these terms are different names relating to the same type of disc related problem. As a result, we have created specific individual pages for the most common terms to more accurately explain exactly what they mean. Please press the below links to find out more about these types of disc injury.
What are the symptoms of a disc injury?
Disc injuries can vary in the type and in the severity of their symptoms. A disc herniation for example, can push directly onto nerves in the spine, resulting in a lot of pain and very limited movement. On the other hand, people can have disc bulges and experience little to no pain, or referred pain elsewhere in the body. For this reason, it is important to be thoroughly assessed by one of our Spinecare Adelaide chiropractors for the underlying cause of your disc pain.The most severe symptoms occur when disc material directly puts pressure on spinal nerves. These symptoms can include sharp radiating pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in muscles. The most common discs to fail and impact the surrounding nerve roots are the L5/S1 and L4/5 discs at the bottom of the spine in the lower back. 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. Disc injuries are also often the cause of sharp radiating pain down the back of the legs, commonly referred to as sciatica.
How can your Spinecare Chiropractor help with disc problems?
Chiropractic care has consistently been shown to be effective in reducing the pain and disability of disc injuries in the short and long term, by addressing the overall biomechanical function of your spine and pelvis. Spinecare’s Adelaide chiropractors can initially help by providing a thorough spinal examination to determine the cause and possible type of disc injury during Your Initial Consultation.Once the cause and possible disc problem is determined, our Adelaide chiropractor’s will sit down and explain your findings so that you know exactly what we believe is the problem during Your Report of Findings. Our chiropractor’s will recommend a course of care if chiropractic is appropriate, and outline their expectations before beginning any treatment.
Spinecare Chiropractic prides itself on providing safe, professional and painless treatment for disc related injuries. As well as our work in the clinic, our chiropractors may also provide advice, stretches or exercises that may speed up your recovery and reduce the chance of future relapses.