Although it’s common to hear people refer to a “slipped” disc, that is actually a misleading phrase used to describe a bulging or herniated disc. To get an accurate understanding of this condition, it is helpful to know that there are two parts that comprise each disc between our vertebrae: the annulus fibrosus, or tough outer layer, and the nucleus pulposus, or soft center cartilage. A bulging disc occurs when part of the outer layer extends beyond its normal radius, whereas a herniated disc happens when some of the inner cartilage pops through the outer layer. Since our discs act as spinal cushions and allow flexibility, when one bulges or ruptures the result is often excruciating pain and/or loss of motion. If you or someone you know is in a debilitated state caused by a bulging or herniated disc, don’t wait to seek relief with the expert chiropractic care provided by Dr. Jess at the Cafe of Life in Longmont!
Symptoms of a Bulging or Herniated Disc that can be Alleviated with Chiropractic Care
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
- Muscle weakness in the lower body impeding your ability to stand or walk
- Impairment of fine motor skills
- Shooting pain is, unfortunately, the most common symptom
When you make an appointment for a bulging or herniated disc, Dr. Jess will conduct an orthopedic and neurological evaluation, checking for impaired reflexes, weakened muscle strength and loss of sensation. After pinpointing the problem area, she will create a treatment plan including therapeutic exercises, lifestyle advice and gentle manipulation. A common procedure for treating a bulging or herniated disc is the flexion distraction technique that stretches the spine while pumping to move the disc away from the affected nerve. To see a demonstration of this technique performed by its inventor, Dr. Cox, click here.
Thousands of people suffer from a bulging or herniated disc each year and while it is common for this injury to be caused by accident or from normal aging, there are other factors that we can control to try and prevent this painful condition. First, smoking causes our discs to weaken because nicotine prevents them from absorbing the necessary nutrients. Second, extra weight means our spines have more to support, which will speed up their degeneration. Third, although exercise helps maintain our strength and flexibility, poor posture and improper stretching puts extra strain on our spines.
Even though you may live with a bulging or herniated disc for years with no symptoms, once it starts to put pressure on the surrounding nerve, you’ll want to seek relief right away. We at the Cafe of Life can often accommodate same day appointments at our office in Longmont, so don’t hesitate to come to us for chiropractic treatment of your bulging or herniated disc!