Types of Disc Injuries
Spinal disc injuries are widely misunderstood throughout the industry. This is because medical professionals do not always agree on the cause of the pain related to the spinal disc, and patients have a difficult time understanding this complex and often not-well-explained medical topic. Today, we thought we’d take you through the various types of disc injuries and what you can do to recover from these serious back injuries.
What are Spinal Discs?
Let’s start by talking about what your spinal discs are and how they function. Spinal discs are round in diameter and flat on the top and bottom. These discs are attached securely to the vertebrae and provide shock absorption for the spine. Because of the many stresses sustained by the spine, your spinal discs are prone to injury. Disc injuries often lead to lower back pain, leg pain and other symptoms, such as numbness and weakness.
Most Common Spinal Disc Injuries
There are many forms of back injuries, but when it comes to disc injuries, treatment really depends on the type of injury you’ve sustained. We thought we’d explain a couple disc injuries so you know what to look for and hopefully better understand how chiropractic care can help ease the pain. Chiropractors typically see the following injuries:
- Herniated disc – A herniated disc occurs when the inner material of the disc, the soft nucleus, leaks out of the disc and touches the nerve root. This often causes numbness, tingling or weakness and pain that travel along the path of the nerve.
- Pinched nerve – When a patient shows symptoms of a herniated disc but the disc itself is not in pain, a pinched nerve is most likely the problem. Patients suffering from a pinched disc will also experience nerve root pain.
- Bulging disc - Bulging discs are a very common condition treated by chiropractors and causes pain and discomfort in various parts of the body. Pressure from the central core of the disc can stretch to the outer rim, causing the disc to bulge.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Before we provide any treatment, we will begin with a physical examination. This examination will include tests for nerve function in certain parts of the leg or arm, a muscle strength test and locating the origin of the pain. Your doctor will also review your medical history and may even suggest an MRI or X-Ray.
As a chiropractic clinic, it is our goal to help our patients move past their pain in a non-invasive way. To achieve this goal, each patient’s treatment plan should be individualized based on the source of the pain, the severity of pain and the specific symptoms that the patient exhibits. We will begin with conservative treatment options through adjustments and manipulations and will provide recovery exercises and stretches to accomplish on your own.