Types of Spinal Disc Problems
Your body has 24 spinal discs and 33 vertebrae (which help protect your spinal nerves). Spinal discs
are tough, leathery fibers that surround a soft nucleus that help disperse the forces that the spine
encounters. They remain flexible so the spine can bend, twist and turn.
Reasons for Disc Problems
You may experience problems with your discs when they’re moved unnaturally or placed under excess
pressure. When your discs can’t do their job correctly, you’ll find yourself in pain and your spinal
movement will be negatively affected. Some spinal disc problems are caused by injuries, while others
develop as a result of aging. Athletes or those physical occupations are more likely to suffer an injury
to their spine. This can cause the discs in the back to become weak. Smoking can also cause discs to
Bulging discs don’t necessarily mean you have a serious problem with the spine. Some doctors believe
bulging discs just happen as you age, but this is not the only cause for them. They can also occur due to
intervertebral disc degeneration. A bulging disc is more serious if it protrudes enough to cause the
spinal canal to narrow. Bone spurs on the facet joints located behind a bulging disc can put a person at
risk of a narrowing spinal canal. This narrowing of the spinal canal is a condition called segmental
Discomfort caused by bulged discs could begin slow and worsen as time goes on or during certain
types of movement. Numbness and weakness in the muscles are two indications you could have a
bulged disc. Symptoms occur once the bulging disc progresses to pressing on a nerve. Pain could seem
to stem from somewhere other than your back (depending on what nerves the disc is pressing into).
You could feel it in your stomach, kidneys or even your heart!
Bulging disc symptoms may include:
• Difficulty walking
Bulging discs on the thoracic spine:
• Bladder or bowel Problems
• Weakness in the muscles, tingling in the legs, numbness.
• Overactive leg reflexes
• Being paralyzed below the waist
Bulged discs in the cervical spine:
• Hurts to move the neck
• Pain that feels like it is deep within the shoulder blade or surrounding area
• Pain that radiates down the forearm, upper arm, and fingers
Herniated, Ruptured or Slipped Disc
Probably one of the most common disc problems is a herniated disc (sometimes referred to as a slipped
or ruptured disc). When you have a herniated disc, the soft material inside the disc pushes through a
tear in the tougher exterior. Sometimes it can irritate nearby nerves, causing you to experience a variety
of not so pleasant symptoms.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc:
• Arm pain
• Leg pain
Often the result of aging, herniated spinal disc problems can also be the result of improperly lifting
heavy objects. Herniated discs can result from traumatic events or accidents which involve the spine.
There is a greater risk of developing a herniated disc if you are overweight, work in a physically
demanding job, or have a family history of herniated discs.
Degenerative Disc Disease
The natural aging process is the primary cause of degenerative disc disease since your discs naturally
deteriorate as you age. Degenerative disc disease is not technically a “disease”, but it is a condition
caused when damage to your discs causes you pain. This can happen when discs have low blood supply
and are unable to repair themselves once injured.
Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease:
• Numbness and tingling in your extremities
• Pain worsening while sitting, bending, lifting or twisting
• Relief from pain with movement – changing positions frequently or lying down
• Weakness in your legs
• Periods of severe pain – recovering and later returning
• Pain ranges from nagging to debilitating
Certain activities and factors can place additional stress on the spinal column. These include:
• Frequent lifting
• Poor posture
• Repetitive Bending
• Sports accidents
• Traumatic injuries
How Chiropractic Adjustments Can Help
Regular chiropractor adjustments restore the proper posture of the body. This will re-establish the
normal disc mechanics, allowing the body to properly heal over time. Once posture has improved,
chiropractors help eliminate the tension that was built in the spinal cord/brainstem, reducing or
eliminating any neurological symptoms you were experiencing. Regular adjustments lead to long-term
correction of the issue which is not seen with other treatment methods.
If you would like to learn more about chiropractic care and how we can help you, give us a call today!
For questions or comments contact:
Dr. Fred Dietzen
Evoke Spinal Care
140 Gregory Lane, Suite 195
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Take advantage of all the benefits cold laser therapy has to offer today!
$65 a Session or $450 for a 10 Pack Series
Not sure if you need one or more laser treatment? Talk to Dr. Fred for more information.
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