Herniated aka “Slipped” Discs in the Neck and Lower Back
What is it?
Similarly mentioned in degenerative disc disease, we have discs between the bones of our spine. They are filled with a jelly-like fluid. It functions to absorb shock and assist our body’s movement in all directions, protecting the nerves that pass from our spine to the rest of our body as we sit, walk, run, jump, or exercise.
When the load exceeds what the discs can handle (e.g. suddenly picking something up, a sneeze, even brushing your teeth), a herniation of the disc can occur. This is when the disc bulges out from its normal position and may pinch on the nerve that is right next to the disc, causing pain in the back and down the legs.
Something called an “annular tear” may also happen, where the disc doesn’t bulge out, but a small tear may occur in the disc, causing pain. If not taken care of, it may lead to a herniated disc.
What can be done?
Chiropractic adjustments gently alleviates compression in the spine, reducing the pressure on the disc. It can help in progressing healing as well by increasing circulation to the area. Physiotherapy care helps to strengthen the surrounding muscles, giving you knowledge on how to prevent it from happening again. In severe cases, decompression therapy may be needed to further progress your treatment.
Can this be prevented?
Although there is no single exercise or treatment to prevent a herniated disc, understanding the right postures, movements, and taking regular care of your spine as it undergoes the daily stresses of work and life will go a long way in preventing the occurrence of slipped discs.