Discs serve as the shock absorbers for our spines. There is a disc between each vertebrae and they are made up of round, gel-filled cores, surrounded by rings of cartilage. When we move, the discs compress in a way that provides support and cushion to the spinal vertebrae.
Discs do not slip out of place. When damaged, the soft inner core of the disk may rupture and leak fluid into the spinal canal. This is properly called a prolapsed disc.
More common are disc herniations where the soft, gel-filled inner core ruptures, or herniates, through the tough outer ring of cartilage creating a disc bulge. This can result not only in pain but in pinched nerves of the neck and low back which can cause numbness, tingling and/or weakness in the arms or legs. In the lower back this is a major cause of sciatica. Disc injuries like this, especially if untreated, can last from a few months to years.
A disc bulge does not have to be the result of a disc herniation. Common disc bulges that are not the result of a disc herniation are often the result of aging, activities or work that puts stress on the spine, a sedentary lifestyle, weight gain, and poor posture and smoking, among other things. Often, these types of disc bulges may not result in pain at all, but as they progress they can lead to pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms and legs, and restrictions in mobility. It is important to get a periodic chiropractic adjustment to keep these bulges from becoming serious problems.
Cole Chiropractic Clinic is here to help you retain the movement and health of your spine. Make an appointment today at (918) 664-2273 or online here.