Your spine consists of 24 bones that stack on top of each other with a disc that is sandwiched in between them. The discs act as a flexible cushion and is made up of an inner and outer layer. The inner layer of the disc called the “nucleus” is made up of a jelly like substance and the outer layer which keeps the nucleus contained is called the “annulus”.
A disc herniation is when the fibers of the disc become damaged due to trauma or overuse leading to a weakening of the material that contains the disc. When these fibers have significant damage, the inner material can migrate to the point of weakness leading to a bulge (like a weak spot in an inner tube).
If even more fibers become damaged, then the inner jelly-like material of the disc can migrate even further leading to a herniation. With the spinal cord and its associated nerves living behind the disc, a herniation can irritate or compress the nerve causing back pain that may radiate down your arms or legs commonly termed sciatica.
A disc herniation can present itself in a variety of ways with some being subtle and other times very severe. In the initial visit, our expertly trained Eugene chiropractors will inquire about your current symptoms, perform an appropriate orthopedic and neurological exam, to obtain a diagnosis and better manage your disc herniation.
Please let you chiropractor know if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Numbness, tingling, weakness, pain with coughing/ sneezing, radiating pain down arms or legs
Herniations are more common in people ages 30 to 50 and men are affected twice as often as women. Often lifestyle activities such as long periods of sitting time, heavy lifting, repetitive bending or twisting activities from sports or hobbies, smoking, and being overweight can contribute to injury to the disc. On the initial visit, let your Eugene chiropractor know if any of these risk factors apply to you.
Our Eugene chiropractors are expertly trained in the management and treatment of herniated disc injuries. There are several ways a disc herniation can be treated non surgically including:
- Chiropractic adjustments, traction, therapeutic exercise, Laser, electrical muscle stimulation, acupuncture