Slipped Disc and Disc Pain Information

The disc is a pad filled with a gelatinous material that sits between vertebrae. It is held in place by ligaments. A ‘slipped’ disc is actually a term for a herniated or bulging disc, where the gel has pushed out of the disc itself. It can either simply bulge outwards, causing either minor symptoms or no symptoms, or it can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves causing severe pain and other symptoms.

The discs most commonly affected are usually either cervical vertebrae in the neck or lumbar vertebrae in the lower back. This is not absolute and occasional thoracic vertebrae in the upper back can be affected as well

In the case of a slipped disc, an MRI should be used for confirmation so that the chiropractor knows which type of adjustments and exercise will be most effective. In severe cases, the patient might be referred for injections or surgical intervention.

Treatment Expectations

Chiropractic treatment consists of careful adjustment, therapeutic stretches and exercise, massage and heat. If successful, the patient will show a noticeable improvement within about a six-week time frame showing alleviated pain. The symptoms affecting nerve and muscle control will go away as the disc is righted in its proper place between the vertebrae.

Benefits of Slipped Disc and Disc Pain Treatment

The benefits of chiropractic treatment of herniated or bulging discs includes:

  1. Improved mobility in the spine. You will be able to move easier and function more normally overall.
  2. Muscular and nerve symptom will subside within six weeks.
  3. You can avoid injections and surgery.
  4. Your pain will decrease and eventually disappear.
  5. In most cases, the discs treated will not herniate again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Osteoarthritis is the biggest culprit in bulging discs. The degenerative nature of this type of arthritis can cause the disc to develop a crack in its surface then allowing the gelatinous filling to leak out. Injuries from car accidents or sports can also cause a disc to bulge.

If the bulging disc is located in the lower back, symptoms can include numbness and tingling in the extremities, muscle weakness and pain in the legs and feet. If the injury is in the cervical vertebrae in the neck, then the pain and weakness will affect the shoulders, upper back, and arms.

Historically, age and sex have played a role in the type of patient who suffered more frequently. It has usually been men in their mid-50s. There is usually an obesity factor and there may be a genetic factor as well.
There are two types of herniated discs. Aa protruding disc is usually the one that causes the least serious symptoms. It will simply protrude from between the vertebrae. A prolapsed disc is the type that will cause pressure on the nerves and the spinal cord due to the fact that it tends to collapse inwards towards the spinal cord.