Herniated Disc Center
What is a Slipped Disc?
A slipped disc is one of many nicknames that are associated with a spinal disc injury. Prior to being diagnosed by a medical doctor or chiropractor, most believe this pain is caused by a pinched nerve, but in actuality is caused by herniated disc. Although disc injuries generally create pinched nerves by way of compression. A severe enough disc injury can create low back pain, sciatica and in some cases weakness/numbness.
The lumbar spine is made up of a series of bones stacked on top of each other with a cushion between each vertebrae called a disc. The disc looks like a onion cut in half with the middle containing a space for liquid, like a jelly filled donut. The outer rings are very tough (fibrous) and known as the Annulus Fibrosis. The jelly filled center is known as the nucleus pulposus.
The purpose of a disc is to withstand compression and act a shock absorbing cushions.
Disc Don’t Slip, They Bulge or Herniate!
Do Disc Slip?
Although it’s commonly believed and described by patients…..Slipping a disc isn’t actually possible. Thankfully, they are much too strong to be able to “slip out” between the vertebrae.
What is a Herniated Disc?
Normally the disc is a very strong structure that can withstand excessive amounts of compressive loads that occur with exercises such as the deadlift as long as proper form is maintained.
Repetitive strain due to poor lifting mechanics, excessive bending forward, twisting, sitting and poor core function (different than strength) can cause the outer tough layer to tear. Once enough of the layers are torn through, the center fluid (nuclues propulus) pushes on the weakened wall. This is one mechanism of a disc bulge, herniation or it’s nickname the slipped disc.
What Causes a Bulging or Herniated Disc?
Disc injuries such a bulges and herniations can occur due to a single traumatic injury, but the majority of the time it occurs from cumulative trauma. Repetitive trauma by poor lifting mechanics, long hours sitting and tight deep fascia (examples) makes the outer layer of the annulus fibrous (outer onion) bulge outwards due to internal pressure of the nucleus pulposus ( jelly inner). The bulging and herniation of the disc can create pain as well if the disc puts pressure on the lumbar nerves. This is the pinch nerve phenomenon that can cause sciatica, numbness, tingling and lower back pain.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
The symptoms of a typical disc injury occur due to local disc injury, and possible compression nerve or spinal cord. List below are common symptoms of a typical herniated disc with pinching of the nerve (compression)
- Sharp, stabbing and intense spinal pain
- Weakness in lower leg, including foot drop
- Bowel or Bladder changes (serious sign)
- Sharp, electric pain down the back of the leg (sciatica)
- Back pain is worst in the morning
- Lower Back Pain when sitting down
- Back pain while bending down
- Back pain while coughing and laughing
- Numbness in legs
I Bent Over and I Can’t Get Back Up!
How do you Treat it?
Diagnosing lumbar disc injuries is usually quick and easy using the latest scientific evidence from biomechanics, orthopedics and neurodynamics.
Finding the cause can be a bit more complex and requires a skilled clinician to differentiate from the following causes. Listed below are some common causes of low back pain and the strategies that Dr. Dean uses to help his patients.
- Poor Movement Mechanics of low back is corrected by implementing a hip centered movement bias, which spares the spine. (quite picking the scab)
- Finding a Directional Preference using the Mckenzie Method to quickly eliminate low back pain.
- Taking pressure off the compressed and pinched nerve by finding a “relief position” that “gives the nerve a break”. This encourage blood flow and healing
- Releasing any deep fascial restrictions that’s altering the proper movement of the spine using the Stecco Fascial Manipulation Method.
- Pumping water into stiff and dehydrated ligaments, tendon and muscles that surround the disc using Osteopathic Joint pumping and fascial normalization. This restores proper movement of the spine
- Chiropractic manipulations as needed to quickly reduce pain and decrease stiffness in surrounding muscles.
- Rehabilitation exercises that increase spinal endurance, back muscular strength and abdominal strength. This is to ensure that the pain doesn’t return.
Low back pain from disc herniations needs to include aspects of proper movement, pinched nerve unloading, fascial manipulation, proper hydration of stiff tissues and targeted rehabilitation exercises to be truly effective. Dean’s Sports Therapy has it all under one roof!