Your spine and vertebrae suffer tremendous amounts of strain each day. Physical activities we take for granted, such as walking, bending, lifting and twisting, are constantly putting stress on the protective, gel-like disks sandwiched between vertebrae. When a disk slips out of position, the ensuing bulge or herniation presses abnormally on spinal nerves, causing the pain and inflammation of disc herniation that can severely reduce your quality of life. Since most disc herniations do not respond well to physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications, your Gilbert chiropractor recommends chiropractic manipulation and adjustment techniques or spinal decompression to restore normal disc and spine functioning.
What is a Vertebral Disc and Why Does It Bulge?
Vertebral discs are spongy tissue pads that separate vertebrae from each other. Without these discs, your spine would be inflexible and deteriorate rapidly as bony vertebrae grind against each other. The exterior of vertebral discs is made of tough, fibrous tissue called the annulus fibrosus while the interior is softer and less fibrous. The annulus fibrosus also connects to vertebrae directly above and below so that your spine remains flexible and aligned from the neck to the tailbone.
Exterior disc fibers prevent the inner portion of the disc from leaking out (herniating) by securing it and distributing pressure evenly. Due to wear and tear, aging, improper lifting techniques or repetitive activities that stress the spine (sitting, bad posture or bending over excessively), this fibrous exterior weakens and allows the disc to bulge out from the two vertebrae it is separating. Unless treated in a timely manner, bulging discs often lead to herniated discs, or discs that have ruptured.
How Do You Know If You Have a Bulging Disc?
Unless you suffer pain and limited range of motion from a bulging disc that presses against sensitive spinal nerves, the only way to know for certain if you have a bulging disc is by having diagnostic imaging tests performed, such as an MRI scan, on your back and neck. Magnetic resonance imaging uses injectable contrast techniques to provide x-ray images of interior body tissues targeted for detailed examination by a radiologist. An MRI image of a bulging disc will show bulging tissue as lighter in shade compared to normal tissues.
Spinal Decompression for Disc Problems
Spinal decompression provided by your Gilbert chiropractor is a non-surgical procedure that effectively relieves pressure on the sciatic nerve and associated discs by creating an intradiscal vacuum. Freeing the sciatic nerve from the force produced by bulging discs allows your chiropractor to reposition displaced discs and naturally realign your vertebrae.
Islands Chiropractic and Massage provides holistic solutions to painful back and disc problems as well as many other musculoskeletal issues. Get treatment for your herniated disc today by calling your Gilbert chiropractor at (480) 545-4580.