Disc Herniation: "Slipped" and "Bulging" Discs
Discs are firmly embedded between the vertebrae and held in place by ligaments connecting the spinal bones and muscle. There is little room for discs to "slip." A "bulging" or herniated disc however, can occur when gel or fluid pushes out through a crack in the exterior. This can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. Many people, however, experience no symptoms from a herniated disc.
There are two types of herniated discs: protrusions and prolapses. A protrusion can occur if the disc bulges, pushing it out of shape. A prolapsed disc is one that bulges out so much, it actually separates from the rest of the discs. In this scenario if the disc pushes on the spinal cord or puts pressure on nerves, it causes severe pain that makes regular daily activities such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, using the bathroom, sneezing or coughing very difficult. Foot or leg numbness or a loss of muscle control may also occur. Only a small number of those with low back pain have serious disc problems.
Signs and Symptoms
Below are signs of potential spinal disc issues:
Tenderness or stiffness of spine
Leg, buttock, foot pain
Shoulder, neck or arm pain with certain movements
Numbness, tingling or weakness in body parts served by affected nerves
Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to treat herniated and bulging disc problems. By utilizing a comprehensive report of the patient's history, performing a physical examination and potentially taking digital images, a chiropractic doctor will diagnose what type of disc problem may be occurring. In some cases, your chiropractor may need an MRI to be able to prescribe a suitable treatment plan specific to your needs including adjustments and therapeutic exercises. In many cases, surgery and injections should be considered YOUR LAST option due to the dangerous risks and side effects!
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