Understanding Herniated Discs – From Your Bettendorf Chiropractor
The discs in your spine are made up of a soft inner layer and a hard outer layer. When the soft inner layer protrudes from the outer layer and presses on a nerve, it is referred to as a herniated disc. The pain from a herniated disc can range from mild to severe. Fortunately, as your Bettendorf chiropractor, there is a lot we can do to help relieve the symptoms of a herniated disc. We are here for all your chiropractic needs!
Herniated and Bulging Discs
Spinal discs play a major role in the function of your spinal cord, from your lower back all the way to your neck. They provide cushion, support and mobility. They are also put under considerable strain in your day to day life, which combined with the natural degradation that comes with aging, can ultimately lead to malfunction. Herniated discs can be caused by injury, degenerative disc disease or other issues, leading to a tear in the tough outer layer that lets the soft inner layer emerge and cause real problems.
Bulging discs are another type of disc injury that are quite common. With a bulging disc, the outer layer of the disc remains intact – but the disc bulges out from its standard location and puts pressure on one or more nerves. Bulging discs may not be leaking or torn, but they can still cause considerable discomfort.
Common Causes of Herniated Discs
Some of the most common causes of herniated discs include:
Car accidents, workplace accidents, slip and falls, twisting injuries, sports injuries – there are a lot of ways you can herniate a disc. All it takes is enough pressure at the right angle to damage a disc, and the injury often happens so fast you do not have a chance to protect yourself.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is a term that refers to the degeneration of spinal discs over time. It is not really a disease, so much as a convenient way to discuss common symptoms produced by a variety of different causes. Osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis and other degenerative processes – including aging – can cause the discs to degrade. Degraded discs are more prone to tearing and herniation.
Being overweight puts you at greater risk of disc herniation. The discs in your spine are designed to carry your normal, healthy body weight. When you add extra weight, they are forced to work harder and put under greater pressure which can lead to tearing.
Diagnosing a Herniated Disc
Most people who are suffering from a herniated disc come into Absolute Balance Chiropractic because they are experiencing pain. However, a herniated disc may not produce pain at first, if the herniation is not putting pressure on nerves.
There are several tests we may use to diagnose a herniated disc, including:
- MRI Scan – the preferred test for diagnosing herniated discs
- CT Scan with Myelogram – the myelogram dye makes it possible to see detailed damage of a herniated disc
Herniated Disc Treatment from Your Chiropractor
The treatments you receive from Absolute Balance Chiropractic may include:
We use a specially designed table to carefully stretch your spine, relieving pressure on the disc and allowing it to return to its normal position. Traction, often called spinal decompression, is effective for relieving pain and aiding in healing.
Physical therapy exercises are important for strengthening the area around your injury. By making your body stronger, we can help you heal faster and avoid further injury.
Please contact us today at (563) 332-6036 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!