Between each bone in the spine there is a disc that acts as a buffer. These discs give flexibility to the spine and allow you to move all sorts of ways. The discs are made up of concentric circles, much like the rings in a tree stump. The outer layer of the disc is made of a tough fibrocartilage that keeps the disc in place, and the center is like a jelly doughnut that provides a cushioning affect. It is solid enough to transmit weight and flexible enough to allow movement between vertebrae. These discs provide the flexible support needed for the spine to safely house the spinal cord, and to further protect this vital area of your body, the spine is wrapped in a series of ligaments to keep everything together nicely.
How Do Herniated Discs Occur?
Herniated discs are a very common problem. They occur more often in people between the ages of 35 and 55 and are more common in men than in women. There are many types of herniations, but all cause the same problem: radiating pain in the back and/or tingling and numbness in the legs and feet. Herniated discs can be caused by aging and degeneration, excess weight, or a sudden strain from improper lifting. When this issue occurs it is because the discs that are responsible for keeping you upright have moved. The aforementioned “jelly doughnut” has slipped out from where it should be and is pushing up against your spinal cord. Once this has happened, your body will do everything in its power to lock down that area to minimize pain and additional movement; muscles will tighten up, the area will become red and swollen, and scar tissue will begin to form.
Herniated Discs Can Be Safely and Effectively Corrected with Chiropractic Care
Depending on how severe the herniation is, the medical community will tell you there is one of two ways to take care of a herniated disc. They will inject a very large needle into your spinal canal, giving you an epidural to help you tolerate the pain, or they will perform a surgery where they will remove the part of the disc pressing against your spinal canal. Thankfully, these are not the only options. Chiropractic is much less invasive and more successful for both a short-term and long-term solution to herniated discs. Chiropractic care will alleviate the pain brought on by herniated discs and help your body to heal from the herniation faster and more effectively, all without dangerous side effects from pain medication or surgery.
Through an assessment of your spine, Dr. Thomas Madigan and Dr. Brendan Shanahan will be able to explain exactly where the disc herniation is and what chiropractic can do for you. If you or a loved one are currently suffering from a herniated disc, give your Rochester Hills chiropractors a call today to get back to a life without pain.