So, what is a “herniated disc”? Your discs act like a squishy shock absorber that is located in between every vertebral level of your spine. When a disc has been herniated, the inner gel portion of the disc ruptures and protrudes out towards the spinal nerves, which puts pressure on the nerve. A bulging disc is very similar to a herniation. The difference between a bulging and a herniated disc is that in a bulging disc, the annular fibrosus has been torn and is protruding out and pressing on the spinal nerve that is exiting at that disc level. In a herniation, the inner nucleus pulposus has been torn and has torn through the outer layer, pinching the nerve at the respective level. Either way the nerve is being pinched and can be extremely painful.
How do you know if you have a pinched nerve? Always discuss your conditions with your health care practitioner so that they may properly diagnose your pain. They can help you determine whether it is a minor ache or if there is a deeper problem. In more extreme cases surgery is required to help relieve the pinched nerve. Usually MRI’s are needed to detect whether you have a bulging or herniated disc.
So what are your options to help fix your condition? That will depend on several factors. Do you have a bulge or a herniation? And if you do have a bulge or herniation, how big and how much is it pressing on your nerve? If you have a bulging disc or herniation unfortunately, it is there stay. Alternative medicine, such as Chiropractic, physical therapy, massage and spinal decompression, can help decrease the pain and help you to continue with your active lifestyle. Just because you do have a herniated disc does not mean that you will need surgery or that you will be in pain forever. We can help you decrease your pain and get you back to living a happy and healthy life through chiropractic care.