HAVE YOU INJURED A DISC?
Have you been told that you have a slipped disc or a disc injury? Slipped or injured discs can vary from slight to severe, but most will require at least some attention from a trained Chiropractor.
Disc injury may cause pain in a variety of locations. From local pain near the site of injury, to muscles spasm or referred pain or pressure on a nerve with symptoms like sciatica, pins and needles, tingling or numbness. It’s important to understand your condition and what it means for you. A registered Chiropractor in Newcastle can help you develop the best treatment option for you.
WHAT IS A DISC INJURY?
The little pads that lie between your vertebrae are called the intervertebral discs. Kind of like a shock absorber, these soft, malleable structures join, separate and protect your vertebra from damage. The discs serve as cushions or shock absorbers so the bones throughout the spine don’t make contact with each other as you move. Each one of these discs is built by a tough outer ring and a soft gel-like centre, like a jelly doughnut. Damage to any of the structures of the disc confirms a disc injury.
DISC INJURY DIAGNOSIS
The extent of the disc injury is often graded. You may hear terms like:
- Swollen disc
- Outer disc bulge
- Protruding disc
- Herniated disc
- Disc extrusion
The severity of the injury can significantly effect the recovery time and treatment options. However, it is worth noting that approximately 1/3 of the population have a disc bulge, yet remain asymptomatic.
Pain and numbness due to the disc injury is a common side effect as is a severely limited range of motion and possible loss of muscle strength. Imaging may be required for your disc injury and the gold standard imaging of choice would always be an MRI.
WHAT CAUSES A DISC INJURY?
The number of potential injuries, misalignments and conditions that could cause disc injuries seems endless. Disc injuries may occur due to a lifetime of poor postures, stress and misalignments. They may also be injured through repetitive stress or sudden, severe trauma. A common cause of disc injuries we see here in Newcastle is miners exposed to whole body vibration.
The final instant of disc injury or “the straw that broke the camels back” may be the result of an acute injury. For example, when lifting or twisting, a car accident, gardening accident or at the gym. It may also be caused due to repeated chronic overuse, ie for the runner, desk worker or labourer constantly exposing their discs to the same stressors day in day out.
If the spinal vertebrae are misaligned, pressure builds up on the disc, placing unnecessary stress and strain on the disc. Weakening the spinal discs in this way may predispose it to injury.
If you have injured discs, don’t despair, there are options. With proper care, an injured or damaged disc may be restored to health. With a combination of a healthy diet, hydration, low-impact exercise and warm or cold compresses, the pain can be lessened or potentially completely removed. Look at the PEACE & LOVE protocol for ways to alleviate some tension from home.
Unfortunately, in some cases disc injury may require surgery. This should always be considered a last resort. However, these days it is quite common and minimally invasive.
If you’re suffering from back pain that you believe is caused by a disc injury and you are looking for drug free, non surgical treatment, consider Chiropractic. Often, the sooner you actively take control of your health the more options you will have for treatment.
An additional benefit of choosing Transitions Chiropractic is that we work side by side experienced Physiotherapists and Massage therapists right here in the one convenient location. If perhaps Chiropractic isn’t your preferred avenue, we’ve got the right options for you right here. There’s no risk in seeing what we can do for you.