Each year many people will undergo back or neck surgery to repair a herniated disc. Majority of these surgeries will be a Microdissectomy due to a disc herniation. While some cases of herniated discs may require surgery, many cases will respond to less-invasive treatments such as chiropractic care.
What is a disc herniation? Between each vertebrae in your spine there is an Intervertebral Disc (with the exception of the first 2 cervical vertebrae.) These discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, providing cushioning and flexibility during your daily activities. Think of your discs as shocks on your car, without them your spine would have no give or flexibility feeling every bump.
Statistically, many people have disc herniation’s but not all show symptoms. Typically, the pain will begin locally in the back or neck. If the herniation becomes bad enough to compress a nerve, the pain may progress to the leg or arm. Statistically, many cases will begin locally and progress slowly over-time. There are many different causes for a disc herniation. Contrary to popular belief, many people cannot pin point the exact mechanism of the injury. This is because much of the issue is often related to lifestyle, allowing symptoms to build slowly over-time. It is often poor posture, weight gain, or in-activity that allows the injury to progress. For example, when you have poor posture it places abnormal stress on the muscles which clamp down on the discs limiting motion in the joints. The intervertebral discs rely on motion for nutrition. It is important to note that since they are made mostly of cartilage there is no blood supply. This makes prevention key! Chiropractic helps by addressing the cause of the problem: Immobile joints and tight muscles compressing the disc. By releasing the pressure through gentle, non-invasive adjustments, therapeutic exercise, myofascial release we can serve to relieve the pressure in the disc and establish more normal range of motion reducing inflammation and nerve irritation.
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