Providing high quality and thorough chiropractic care to people of all ages.
Intervertebral discs are located between each of the vertebrae in your spine. These spinal discs have an outer layer, known as the ‘annulus’ and an inner layer that is soft and gel-like, called the ‘nucleus.’ The discs absorb shock, aims to keep the spine stable and allows the entire body to move freely.
A herniated disc is when the inner gel-like layer (nucleus) begins to protrude outwards, through a tear in the annulus and puts lots of pressure on the spinal nerves passing through.
A bulging disc involves the inner layer of the disc protruding outwards, but it remains contained in the outer layer. A herniated disc involves an extra degree of protrusion. The inner layer of the disc ‘spills’ out of its protective casing into the spinal canal and can cause compression onto the spinal nerves in that location.
A herniated disc can occur due to an array of reasons. These include:
Symptoms for a disc herniation vary greatly, depending on the position and the severity of the herniated disc. A disc herniation may initially present as asymptomatic however, many people experience a whole range of symptoms that may continue to develop overtime.
A herniated disc typically has a particular presentation and can be diagnosed after a comprehensive history is conducted and a thorough physical examination has taken place. To evaluate the severity of a disc herniation, an MRI may be indicated. Fortunately, the majority of herniated discs do not require surgery. In some severe cases, surgery may be the best treatment option available.
You should avoid vigorous running or jumping exercises, heavy lifting of any sort, repetitive bending, twisting, or turning. These types of movements will continue to cause repeated micro-trauma and stress on the spine and further inflame the disc herniation and its surrounding structures.
A range of movements are good and safe for herniated discs; however, you should stop if they aggravate or cause any pain or discomfort to your body. Spinal decompression is one of the most effective and is a traction-based exercise and movement that is appropriate for disc herniations/disc bulges. This will help to relieve pressure at the level of the disc herniation and alleviate some pain in the low back.
For those interested, Chiropractic care may help assist in relieving pain from herniated discs. On occasions, disc herniations will get better in their own time and generally resolve in 4-6 weeks. However, Chiropractic care may help condition the body to assist in reducing the possibility of them occurring in the beginning. Chiropractic care may also assist in reducing the re-occurrence of injuries and have the body moving, feeling, and functioning at its very best.
If you choose to see a Chiropractor, they will complete a comprehensive history process and perform a thorough physical examination including postural, neurological, orthopaedic, and muscular testing, sending for further radiographical testing if indicated. At Total Health Chiropractic, we will be able to work with you to cultivate a personalised and comprehensive step-by-step plan to reduce pain and improve movement and function, in turn reducing the risk for re-injury.
Disc herniations are a common condition that Chiropractors treat in practice. If you choose to see a Chiropractor, they will be able to provide appropriate recommendations to reduce pain and get you moving, feeling, and functioning better overall.