Just like a car needs shock absorbers to function properly, so does your body. When your body moves, your spinal discs (aka "shock absorbers") work with the natural curves of your spine to reduce stress and pressure. These discs are what separate each vertebra and provide the necessary space for your nerves to exit your spinal cord, which is what allows them to keep your organs and body tissue healthy. The annulus, which are rings of fibrous tissue, are filled with a soft jelly-like center. To keep your body on track, your annulus need to be aligned and healthy.
If you overwork the shock absorbers in your car, they will become damaged. The same theory applies to your discs. They can degenerate, tear, bulge, and herniate (though they don't "slip" as is commonly misused). If you are experiencing low back pain, you might be suffering from disc issues like a herniated disc.
Here are two disc problems we commonly see that can be helped with chiropractic treatment.
If an area around the annulus is out of place or weakened, the soft center is able to squeeze out and bulge like a bubble, which causes pressure to be put on the surrounding nerves. If you are experiencing bulging discs, chiropractic can help. Bulging discs respond well to realignment, and chiropractic care has even helped some patients avoid major surgery.
A bulging disc can be uncomfortable, but a herniated or ruptured disc can lead to serious issues. Herniated discs most commonly happen in the low back, but they can occur anywhere in the spine. When an area of the spine is weakened due to a trauma or degeneration, the soft center of the annulus is able to push through, causing a ruptured or herniated disc. This puts a great amount of pressure on the spinal cord, causing extreme discomfort and pain.
Chiropractic care combined with practices like drinking more water, better nutrition, and light exercises such as walking can provide a non-surgical alternative to a number of disc issues, putting you on the path to a healthier life!