What is a Disc Herniation ?

When I talk to a new patient in the office, they throw the terms and phrases like "I have a disc bulge" , " I have a slipped disc", "I have a disc protrusion". Now I don't expect a person to know exactly what these mean, but, there needs to be a clarification before we do a physical exam and get a proper diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan. The disc is the gapper between the vertebrae above and below . The purpose is the provide support by keeping the hole where the nerves from the spinal cord exit the spinal cord and go the other parts of our bodies. One of the ways that the hole gets smaller is when the disc degenerates or fails. Degeneration of the disc is when the disc material wears out causing the bone above to approximate the bone below. When the disc gets smaller, it will make the hole where the nerve comes out smaller, making the nerve more likely to get pinched. This condition can be helped by chiropractic treatment. Not only will we get the vertebrae above and below moving better which will properly lubricate the joint surfaces and reduce pressure off of the discs but we have ways of reducing the disc bulge. If there is a disc herniation, that means that the disc material inside the disc is now either coming out of the disc or completely out of the disc. The analogy I give patients is that of a jelly donut. If the jelly donut is squeezed, the jelly will start to protrude out. If it is squeezed harder, the jelly can come out completely or partially. If the disc is herniated, chiropractic treatment along with pain management and if there is absolutely no room for the nerve to move through the hole, surgery is a possibility.


If someone is involved in an auto accident, if there is disc degeneration or disc herniation, it means that a person can suffer more damage at less impact. The condition is dormant and brought out by the trauma. A person may go their entire life without symptoms when having disc degeneration or disc herniation but an accident can bring out the condition more. If you have been in an auto accident and are experiencing headaches, neck pain, numbness and tingling in the arms, legs, hands or feet, have low back pain or hip pain, don't hesitate to contact Auto Accident Pain Relief Center of Illinois in Elmhurst, 24/7 at 800-862-5914.


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