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What can cause a disc problem?

The disc is a small cartilage pad, between the bones in your spine. There is a soft jelly-like center, surrounded by fibrous tissues. The disc works like a shock absorber for the spine, connecting and spacing the vertebrae. A health disc allows your back to turn and bend normally.

Spinal discs have poor blood supply and depend on the circulation of joint fluids to bring in nutrients and expel waste. When a spinal joint loses it's normal motion, the pumping is impaired and the health of the disc deteriorates. Trauma or an injury can cause discs to bulge, herniate or rupture. This can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots, causing pain and impaired function. Because they are attached to vertebrae, discs do not slip, but they do sustain other degenerations. The most common of which are: disc tear, bulging disc, and herniated disc.

Disc Tear

A small crack or microtear in the outer edge of the disc is the most common disc injury. It allows the fluid to start leaking out, thinning and wearing out the disc.

Bulging Disc

There is a soft jelly-like material in the middle of the disc, when this pushes to one side (in any direction), swelling occurs. The disc fluid is still contained withing the disc but this "bulging" can still cause increased pressure and painful symptoms.

Herniated Disc

The soft material and fluid in the center of the disc can rupture through the outer layer and extend beyond the disc. This can cause a variety of painful symptoms.

How do we treat disc problems?

The chiropractic approach is to help restore motion and correct the position of the spinal joints. This can reduce bulging and decrease inflammation to allow the surrounding soft tissues to begin the healing process. There are many different adjustment methods and techniques. We believe in selecting and adapting those which suit your body and personal needs best. One method that has proven particularly effective with disc problems is spinal decompression therapy, which promotes the disc to return to it's normal healthy form.

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