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A herniated disk, sometimes known as a bulged disk or herniated disc, is a serious medical condition that causes pain and dysfunction in your back.
The bones of your spine are stacked on top of one another, similar to a deck of cards. This configuration allows you incredible range of motion in your shoulders, back and hips. The bones of the spinal column are hollow and act as protection for the spinal cord inside. Nerves protrude from the spinal cord through tiny holes in the vertebrae and past the disks.
A rubbery disk lies between each spinal bone, known collectively as vertebrae, to cushion the bones and prevent them from grinding together. Disks are donut-shaped to allow space for the spinal cord. The outer shell of the disk is tough but the inside is gelatinous. A healthy disk is about the same diameter as its nearest vertebra so the bones and disks together form a smooth column.
Doctors and patients tend to use the terms “bulged disk” and “herniated disk” interchangeably but many healthcare providers say there are subtle differences between the two. A bulged disk extends outside its normal space so it is larger than its neighboring vertebrae. A bulged disk resembles a hamburger too big for its bun.
In time, the tough outer shell of the disk may crack and allow the gooey substance inside leak out. Many specialists call this a herniated disk.
Bulged disks and herniated disks can cause pain, although some patients with these disk conditions never experience symptoms. There are two main causes for disk pain: pinched nerve and pain within the disk space itself. Leakage from the ruptured disk can press against the nerves protruding from the spinal cord to cause radicular pain. Sciatica, for example, is a type of radicular pain that shoots down one leg. Disk pain causes axial pain, resulting in discomfort in the low back, or in the legs, or both.
Herniated disks and bulged disks can happen anywhere in the spine. These conditions are most common in the lower back because these disks bear the most pressure and torque on a daily basis.
Fortunately, chiropractic care like that provided by Dr. Phillips Chiropractic, Nutrition and Wellness could relieve symptoms you may experience from a bulged disk. Treatment always starts with a comprehensive exam and recording of a detailed patient history because an accurate diagnosis is critical to your recovery. Your chiropractor at Dr. Phillips Chiropractic, Nutrition and Wellness may also order radiological testing to confirm a diagnosis.
Spinal adjustments and spinal decompression treatments relieve pressure vertebrae place on disks to reduce the risk for bulging and herniation. Massage therapy relaxes muscles spasms common with bulged disks. Your chiropractor at Dr. Phillips Chiropractic, Nutrition and Wellness is your healthcare professional of choice after bulged disks, herniated disks and other back problems.
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Had me walking straight again in just a couple visits. Great staff. Will continue to use them for my care.