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Herniated Discs

Herniated-Discs

What is a herniated disc?

To understand a herniated disc there needs to be a short explanation of spinal anatomy. The visible structure of the spine is made up of bony structures called vertebrae. These vertebrae have a tunnel running through each and every one that houses the spinal cord; this cord contains all of the nerves that serve to both move our bodies and feel the world around us. The spinal cord has branches that grow away from the spine at different intervals, depending where the body needs nerves; for example, the nerves that move and feel for the legs branch off in the low back, while the nerves that move and feel for the arms are closer to the neck. In between every bony structure, and lying next to the spinal cord tunnels, live fibrous gel-filled sacs called Inter-Vertebral Discs. These discs hold the job of allowing space for the spinal cord to branch out properly, as well as acting as a shock absorber and point of movement for the vertebrae themselves. If an injury or degenerative disease attacks any one of these discs they have a tendency to bulge out, or herniate, towards the space where the spinal cord is being housed. This bulge can put pressure on the spinal cord and any branching nerves in the area, causing discomfort and pain. The type of bulge can come in many degrees, from mild to severe, and have a wide range of available treatments.

Symptoms

Since a herniated disc can range from mild to severe in nature there are many associated symptoms; however, any one of the following is cause for check-up, especially if you have been in a recent accident.

  • Arm pain
  • Leg pain
  • Numbness and tingling in arms or shoulders
  • Numbness and tingling in legs
  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Muscle spasms

Treatment and Recovery

The treatment protocol for a herniated disc varies greatly depending on the severity of the disc bulge, therefore proper diagnosis is required. Here at the Head Neck and Spine Center we have a team of doctors with over 30 years combined experience in the diagnosis and treatment of herniated discs, plus access to the best imaging facilities in the county. Since there is no “cure” for a herniated disc the treatments for this condition revolve around relieving symptoms in a safe and natural way while preventing further injury; treatments include traction, spinal manipulation, and physical therapy with an emphasis on core strengthening. If the disc bulge is beyond Chiropractic treatments we have access to an array of other medical professionals, including Orthopedic surgeons, pain management specialists, and physical therapists, all of which are at your disposal. If you have any of the symptoms listed above please call our office to schedule a free consultation!

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