Just like a free lunch, a slipped disc does not exist. This is the first thing you should know about the misnamed “slipped disc.”

Discs are the fluid-filled cushions found layered between the spinal bones. Vertebral discs act as shock absorbers between the dense bones of the spine and keep the spinal bones separated and help them move easily as you bend and turn. The discs allow the spine to support normal body movement and keep the spinal bones from grinding together. As long as the spine is balanced and lined up properly, the discs can do their job. With movement the discs can stay full of fluid and keep the spinal bones from pressing together and possibly causing pain.

Somehow “slipped disc” has become a common saying, as if we’re talking about a stack of slippery plastic poker chips. The discs are in fact deeply imbedded in the spinal bones above and below them. The outside sleeves of the discs are made of elastic mesh-like tissue that is actually fused into the adjoining vertebrae, the spinal bones. Inside of this elastic webbing is a gel-like hydraulic system which is 88% water and helps react to compression. If the discs become compressed then healthy function is impossible. Discs could become compressed due to poor posture, bad habits, repetitive incorrect lifting, or other injuries that create misalignments of the vertebrae.

When the vertebrae is dislocated, bent, or slightly out of joint, the discs are over-stressed or injured. With continued compression, the discs lose their fluid content and may bulge out between the edges of the spinal bones. With continued compression, the discs lose their fluid content and may bulge out between the edges of the spinal bones. If this condition continues, the discs eventually lose their ability to regain fluid, leaving the vertebra to grind against each other. This malfunction leads to extreme pain in many cases. In the past, many looked to surgery to fix this pain. The pain might be reduced eventually, but new government healthcare guidelines do not readily endorse surgery because it carries a high risk of complications. Surgery also does not correct the cause of the symptoms. More and more, the suggestion is for a more conservative treatment.

The thing to do is to stop the progression of this damage to the disc by correcting the problem that caused the bulging in the first place. Chiropractic is very effective at correcting spinal misalignments that create bulging discs. We chiropractors work to gently realign the spinal bones. This de-stresses and decompresses the discs which can then absorb fluid with normal movement and therefore regain their spongy, shock-absorbing function.

Don’t slip up when you have a bulging disc. See us right away.

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