Are you worried that you have injured a disc in your spine? If you have suspicion that your back pain is being caused by a bulging, slipped, herniated or other disc injury or you have received a diagnosis from another healthcare provider that you have this type of issue you will likely benefit from seeing a chiropractor.
Disc injuries can feel different depending on the type of issue and the individual. The pain can be mild discomfort or could be sever and debilitating. The most important thing is to deal with the problem quickly so that it does not progress or cause permanent damage.
WHAT ARE DISCS.
Discs are the small pads that lie between your vertebra. Discs are made up of two main parts, the outer part is very tough and fibrous and the middle is made up of a thick gel-like center. The discs connect to the vertebra, space them apart and act as a natural shock absorber for the spine when moving. The discs in your spine literally allow you to move!
TYPES OF DISC INJURIES
Protrusion/Bulge – this occurs when the gel-like material begins to push its way out of the center and causes the outer fibrous layers to become deformed causing a “bulge.”
Herniation – If not treated properly a protrusion or bulge can force its way out of the center and tear through the outer layers of the disc. The material then attracts water and causes inflammation around nearby nerves.
Extrusion – This is the worst type of disc injury. The gel-like material continues to attract water and swells extensively into the area around the nerves and vertebra. The gel actually separates or breaks off into pieces which also swell causing increased inflammatory response and typically pain.
COMMON SYMPTOMS of a DISC INJURY
Pain – mild to severe
Limited Range of Motion
Back Pain/Neck Pain – depending on the location of the injury
Muscle Weakness in the arms, hands, legs or feet
Numbness and tingling in the leg or foot
Loss of Bladder or Bowel Control – in severe cases