What Is A Disc Herniation?

A herniated disc results in symptoms of back pain, leg pain and/or weakness of the legs.

What consists of the disc?
The disc lies between each vertabrae of the spinal column.  The outside of the disc (annulus fibrosis) is rigid and can take the pressure of gravity on the spine but can rip when there is excessive twisting.  The inner part of the disc (nucleus pulposus) which is gel like leaks out of the tear and puts pressure on the nerves exiting the bone.  This causes pain, numbness, tingling in the areas supplied by those nerves.

What causes the disc to herniate?
It happen with a fall or accident or can occur over time with stress to the spine.  Many people live with a herniated disc but it is when the nerve is irritated and swells that it begins to cause symptoms.

What other symptoms can occur with a disc problem?
1. Shocks that shoot down the leg, arm or back
2.Tingling and numbness
3. Pins and needles
4. Bowel or bladder dysfunction (this may be a cauda equina syndrome which may be an emergency if associated with numbness in the groin area)

How is a disc diagnosed?

A thorough examination is performed and if treatment is performed with no improvement, an MRI is recommended.

What can chiropractic do?

Chiropractic has a high success rate with herniations.  We are proficient with moving the bones in the proper alignment and freeing up the nerve.  We also give exercises to patients to strengthen the core.   As mentioned above, people can live with a herniation as long as there is no stress to cause inflammation.  We can keep the body healthy and moving properly making sure that the herniation does not swell and cause symptoms.