One of the most common and painful causes of back pain in Rogers is a disc bulge or herniation. They can vary from slight to severe, but most require the attention of a trained chiropractor. The type of pain that is experienced due to a disc herniation depends on the type and position of the herniation and is often described as severe and intense. If the damaged disc is irritating a surrounding nerve, shooting pain and weakness into the legs may develop and is described as stabbing and lightning-like.
The little pads that lie between your vertebrae are called the intervertebral discs; each of which has a tough outer ring and a soft gel-like center. Your discs both join and separate your vertebrae. These discs serve as cushions or shock absorbers, so that the bones don’t make contact with each other as you move. Without discs we would literally be unable to move our upper torso. To understand how a disc injury develops, it is best to think of the disc as a jelly doughnut.
If you are diagnosed with a protruding disc it means that the “jelly” is pushed out or bulging, and is asymmetrical in different places. This may result in pinching and irritation of the nerve roots at that point.
If the outer edges of the doughnut (disc) are damaged over time, most typically from wear and tear, the jelly in the middle of the disc can escape causing damage to surrounding structures. This is classified as a herniated disc, when the disc material ruptures to the point that the “jelly” pushes outward. Once this process has completed it is often very difficult to reverse. However, chiropractic care has been shown to prevent the advancement of the herniation and provide relief from the associated pain.
A disc extrusion is the worst type of disc injury. What it means is that the “jelly” extends extensively into the area outside the vertebrae or breaks off from the disc. This tends to result in considerable back pain and limitation of range of motion.
If you're suffering from a disc injury, our team at Integrated Medical can help you understand your condition and develop the best treatment option for you.