A herniated disc is one of those health conditions that really is just as bad as it sounds. When the outer layer of a vertebral disc tears, the results typically include not just pain from the tear itself but also neurological symptoms caused by the pinching of nearby nerve tissue. Putting that disc back in its proper place so it can heal normally is critical -- and our Bangor chiropractor at Back in Balance Wellness Center (Dr. Gooden. Dr. Robinson or Dr. Hart) can provide natural, non-surgical pain relief.
How a Herniated Disc Causes Trouble
Terms to describe various disc problems are sometimes thrown around interchangeably, so you might not know the difference between a slipped disc, a bulging disc and a herniated disc. "Slipped" is a more general term that applies to a disc that is not entirely in its proper position. A bulging disc is an age-related condition in which the disc loses hydration and flattens out, with the edges protruding from the intervertebral space. A herniated disc is a rupture of the disc itself.
A vertebral disc consists of a tough outer casing, the annulus fibrosus, and a gelatinous substance within the casing called the nucelus pulposus. When the annulus fibrosus develops a tear, the pressure on the disc from the vertebrae may force some of the nucleus pulposus through the opening. This material may come into contact with nerve roots or spinal cord tissue, leading to nerve impingement. In addition to the localized pain signals from the site of the tear, you may also experience muscle weakness, tingling, numbness or shooting pains in a limb. If a cervical disc is involved, the symptoms will be in the arms of hands (cervical radiculopathy); if a lumbar disc is pinching a sciatic nerve root, you'll feel the symptoms in a leg or foot (sciatica).
Chiropractic Care for Herniated Disc Pain Relief
A herniated disc may occur whenever something forces the spinal column out of its normal alignment. An auto accident, work injury or sports injury can subject your spine to a sudden jolt that causes discs to herniate. Carrying excess weight can also be a factor. But in many cases, a herniated disc is the final result of a longstanding spinal misalignment.
Whatever caused the problem, you want safe, effective pain relief -- and that's what we provide. Your Bangor chiropractor can administer specific adjustments to help the herniated disc find is way back into its normal position. This relieves nerve pressure and allows the damaged annulus fibrosus to heal. We may also prescribe acupuncture to relieve acute pain and physical therapy to strengthen your back and neck for less chance of a future herniation.