Before we discuss a condition that is commonly referred to as a ‘slipped disc,’ it is very important to know what and where it actually is.
The discs lie in between the vertebra within the spinal column and run from the base of the skull down to the small of the back. These discs are gelatinous and are comprised of an outer (Annulus Fibrosis) and an inner layer (nucleus pulposus). They work as shock absorbers for the spine to allow the body to conduct regular daily activity easily.
Whenever a disc is ‘slipped,’ prolapsed, or herniated, that basically means the inner layer was compromised. Whenever the back is put under extreme force or pressure, the gel-like layer may protrude outwards and also tear. Depending on how severe the tear is and its cause, this gel leaks out and may press on a nerve at the spine level. That dictates the area where the individual will feel symptoms. The L5/S1 is the lowest disc and is the most common damaged area and makes up around 95% of disc herniations. More pressure is placed on a disc the lower it is, and that is why the L5/S1 is the one that is affected most commonly.
Disc pathologies most typically present as a bulged discs. There might also be a weakness within the lower limb muscles, numbness, sensation changes, and people might sometimes complain of changes in their bladder and bowel movements.
The major causes of a disc complaint within the lower back are smoking, obesity, posture, trauma, and age, with 20-40 being the most common age group. Although heavy or extreme pressure on the spine normally causes damaged discs, but also may be caused by something innocuous, like bending down to pick up a pencil if the spine was damaged in a previous trauma or from constant postural problems.
Chiropractors are highly trained diagnostic musculoskeletal experts. They focus on diagnosing, treating, and managing the common conditions that are suffered on a daily basis. When it comes to disc injuries, a Chiropractor takes a full history of the current complaint, thoroughly examine the patient, and explain their findings. If you find you are having trouble with your back pains, you can try Alaska Back Care. We are waiting for your call.