Disc problems are one of the most common causes of low back pain. This can happen when a patient sneezes, picks up a pen, washes a dog, sat up in bed, falls snowboarding, etc. and experiences sudden back pain, proceeding to leg pain. However, the sneeze didn't cause the disc to "slip," but represents the final "straw" in a much longer process. Factors that precede the pain and symptoms of disc injury include disc dehydration, unusual stress on the disc secondary to disturbed mechanics, and too much load on the disc.
The intervertebral disc is a special type of cartilage that connects and cushions the 24 bones of your spinal column. Each disc attaches to the vertebra above and below it. This provides the proper spacing for pairs of nerve roots to exit the spine from between each joint. A disc can thin, wedge, bulge, protrude, tear or herniate, but it doesn't slip!
Each spinal disc has a jelly-like "ball bearing" core that is contained by bands of fibrous tissue. Healthy discs give you flexibility, allowing normal turning and bending. This movement produces a pumping action that supplies proper disc nutrition and waste removal. Trauma produces the most common form of disc injury.
Spinal misalignments can cause disc tissue to adapt into a wedge-like shape. This is the earliest stage of disc damage. While this position can encroach upon adjacent nerve tissue, pain or other obvious symptoms may not be present. Even before symptoms appear, chiropractic care can be helpful.
Like a blister, disc tissue can bulge. As the soft nucleus of the disc is compressed, it pushes outward where the disc wall is weakest. This distortion can produce obvious symptoms (sciatica) as it affects nearby nerves. Muscles tighten to protect and splint the joint. Chiropractic care has been known to help.
The most extreme form of disc damage is when the disc ruptures, leaking its contents into surrounding tissues. With its cushioning and separating functions gone, movement is painful and surgical intervention is often involved.
Uncorrected, long-standing vertebral subluxations can make discs susceptible to damage. "I didn't do a thing" or "I just bent over to tie my shoes" are comments we often hear.
The purpose of chiropractic-care is to locate and correct areas of the spine that interfere with the proper nervous system control of your body. Because the intervertebral discs are so close to the spinal cord and nerve roots, disc involvement is quite common in chiropractic cases. Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper motion and position of malfunctioning spinal bones, reducing nervous system involvement. If caught before permanent damage occurs, disc tissue often returns to a more normal size and shape.
No. However, many disc problems are the result of years of neglect. Many spinal problems are nonsymptomatic until the advanced stages of degeneration. Many elderly patients who have maintained their spines throughout their lives continue to enjoy excellent spinal health and function.
For more severe and chronic disc related conditions we recommend spinal decompression. Spinal Decompression is a revolutionary new therapy that specializes in Disc related problems such as disc herniations producing sharp shooting pain, numbness and tingling into the legs and chronic pain from severely degenerated discs.
The Medical Explanation For Disc Herniations
Like a shock absorber for a car, the disc is the shock absorber for the spine.
When too much pressure is placed on the disc, it bulges or herniates.
Think of it like a jelly doughnut...squeeze it too hard and the jelly comes out. That is called a Herniated Disc, Slipped Disc, or Bulging Disc.
While lying comfortably on the spinal decompression table, gentle specialized traction forces are logrhythmically applied until decompression is achieved. This process creates up to 100 mm of negative intra-discal pressure, retracting (sucking in) the disc herniation and allowing the damaged disc to heal.
(Journal of Neurosurgery 81: 350-353, 1994.
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As we age, the discs that act as shock absorbers begin to degenerate. Loss of disc height transfers 75% of the weight bearing load off of the discs and onto the posterior joints. This causes bone spurs around the facet joints in the spinal cord canal and where the nerves come out.
(Kapandji, 1974; Unpublished Washington School of Medicine)
While lying comfortably on the spinal decompression table, gentle specialized traction forces are logrhythmically applied until decompression is achieved. This negative pressure produces an influx of fluid and minerals. This process helps the discs to heal. Then with the addition of specific nutrients and minerals through supplements, the influx helps the discs to regenerate.
As disc bulges or herniations are drawn in, or as the discs begin to regenerate, pressure is taken off of the nerves and surrounding structures relieving the patient of pain and inflammation. So instead of sweeping the dust under the rug, we actually FIX THE PROBLEM!
The clinical results of an IRB-approved prospective, multi-center, phase II, non-randomized pilot study utilizing the DRX9000TM was presented at the annual New York State Society of Anesthesiologists PGA meeting in New York City December 7-11, 2007. The study, authored by Dr. John Leslie of The Mayo Clinic, was designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the DRX9000 in the treatment of chronic lower back pain. Patients enrolled in the study had suffered an average of ten years of chronic back pain. After two weeks of treatments on the DRX9000 there was a 50% reduction in pain scores, and upon completion of the entire six week protocol an amazing success rate of 88.9% was documented.
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