The spinal column is comprised of a series of small bones and pads that run its length. These small bones, called vertebrae, plus the pads, called discs, protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a tightly-packed, flexible "cable" that houses the nerves that allow your brain to communicate with the rest of your body. It runs the length of the spinal column, weaving its way down your back inside small openings in the vertebrae called vertebrae foramen. Connected to the spinal cord are a series of nerve roots. Collectively, these nerve roots connect to every nerve in the body. Thus, spinal health is essential to overall health.
The spine is remarkably tough and flexible, but it can also be fragile, even among healthy adults. One of the weak links in the spine is the vertebrae. With trauma or even daily activities such as lifting and exercise, vertebrae can shift out of alignment. This is called Subluxation. When this happens, the soft, spongy discs that cushion the vertebrae can bulge or herniate, which causes pressure on the nerves near the spine, causing pain, numbness, loss of function.
The Role of Chiropractic Medicine
By utilizing specific osseous adjustments (manipulation), Chiropractors can correct the misalignment in the vertebrae and help move the disc back into its proper position, returning the body to its natural state of balance, called homeostasis, which allows the body to restore health to itself.
Once the spine is in proper alignment and pain relieved, Chiropractic treatments often include strengthening exercises for the paraspinal and abdominal muscles that will assist in protecting the spine from future damage. In addition, spinal decompressive techniques are often utilized to take pressure off of the damaged disc.
For more information on the treatments Chiropractic offers patients with Subluxations, contact us for a free consultation.
An Introduction to Disc Injuries
A series of vertebrae that run from the base of the skull to the sacrum form the spinal column. Vertebrae are each connected one to another by two joints and a small cartilage pad, called the disc. Discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, allowing painless movement.
Discs are hard on the outside and spongy on the inside. The outer shell is a series of strong fibrous rings that protect the inside. The soft inner core of a disc is mostly water in youth and then becomes less hydrated with age. The soft inner core of discs is what provides the needed shock absorber affect between the vertebrae.
Most typically, a disc injury occurs when trauma to a nearby vertebrae causes the vertebrae to become misaligned. The misaligned vertebrae distorts an adjacent disc and/or shifts its position. A misaligned vertebrae is termed a Subluxation. In the event of a Subluxation, three types of disc injury can occur:
A bulging disc is a disc in which the spongy center presses against its fibrous outer rings and causes the disc to distort its shape.
A herniated/protruded disc occurs when the center of the disc presses through the outer rings.
Whether the disc changes position or changes shape, its movement can cause it to come into contact with nearby nerves or the spinal cord, resulting in varying degrees of back pain, radiating pain, in addition to numbness and/or tingling.
The Role of Chiropractic Medicine
Treatment of disc injuries vary. When a disc is damaged, various options for treatment are avaiable. These options include, but are not limited to, manipulation, traction, decompressive therapy, rehabilitative exercises and other physiological therapeutics. At South Tampa Chiropractic Clinic, we offer the latest technologies available to Chiropractors for the treatment of disc injuries. Our office can provide referrals to medical professionals when such treatment is necessary.
For more information on the treatment options South Tampa Chiropractic Clinic offers
patients with disc injuries, contact us for a free consultation.