What Is A Slipped Disc (Disc Herniation)?
Technically the disc doesn’t actually slip but it is where a part of the disc protrudes out of it’s capsule and puts pressure on &/or irritates the nerve. This is termed a disc herniation. A disc herniation can occur anywhere in the spine, but is most common in the lower back. This can cause back pain, sciatica (pain down the leg), weakness, pins and needles or numbness. It is important to note that these symptoms do not always indicate a herniated disc and they are often misdiagnosed. A Chiropractor is thoroughly trained to provide an accurate diagnosis.
There are varying degrees of how severe the disc herniation may be. There are normally 4 stages described: (1) Disc Protrusion, (2) Disc Prolapse, (3) Disc Extrusion, (4) Disc Sequestration.
What Causes A Disc Herniation?
There are potentially many varied causes of a disc herniation and for the majority of people it is impossible to find the exact cause. That said, discs are often weakened when they fail to receive the nutrition they need. The consistency of the inside of your discs is a bit like toothpaste! Have you ever experienced it when toothpaste leaks out of the tube, normally because it has been rolled up & a crack develops in the tube? A similar thing can happen in your body. It is impossible to separate the movement of the joints from the movement of the disc. When your joints misalign it can cause the disc to stop moving properly & hence cracks start to develop. These cracks can then cause the toothpaste-like tissue to seep out of the disc and onto the nerves.
Do I Need An MRI?
Although MRI’s can be useful, often they fail to reveal anything that changes the type of care a Chiropractor provides. In a study a while ago it was found that 40% of normal middle aged adults had a disc bulge on MRI scans and yet were not suffering from any adverse symptoms. So presumably many people who go to the GP with low back pain and sciatica due to say a lumbar joint problem, will have an MRI which shows a bulging disc completely un-related to their pain. This may account for the high failure rate of lumbar spine surgery to remove the offending disc bulge. The patient wakes up and the lumbar spine joint problem is still there.
What Treatment Can Help Disc Herniations?
GP’s will often prescribe anti-inflammatory medication and pain-killers which can help with the pain but do nothing to correct the underlying cause. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to reduce the inflammation of the nerves and reduce the size of the disc bulge. They also help to free up the joints thus normalising the mechanics of the disc.
A technique we use at The Ashford Back & Wellness Centre, called Flexion-Distraction has been shown to be effective in helping people. Flexion-distraction involves the patient lying face down on a special chiropractic bench which has a movable lower section. The chiropractor places one hand on the vertebra above the disc lesion and gently lower the patients’ legs creating a distraction stretch on the damaged area. Often people report that this brings immediate relief. This gentle up and down movement is repeated for a few minutes and is done 2 to 3 times a week for 2 to 4 weeks.
To help find that cause we offer:
· A Private Consultation
· A Thorough Examination including Neurological,
Orthopaedic & Blood Pressure Tests
· X-Rays, if necessary
· A Verbal Report of our Findings and thorough Explanation
of the X-Rays
After which you should know more about your body and the problems you are experiencing than you ever have before. Whether you go ahead with treatment as always is entirely your decision.
Call TODAY for an Appointment.