At our Oakville Chiropractic clinic we frequently hear the term ‘slipped disk’ when a patient describes their lower back pain. Truth be known, disks do not actually slip but rather, when pain originates from a disk it usually is due to a bulge or herniation that puts pressure on a spinal nerve (pinched nerve). To better understand this condition it is important to discuss the anatomy of this area.
Our spines are very complex and are composed of bones (vertebrae) separated by discs (soft cartilage pads), that allow some movement between these bones. The discs also create a space between each vertebra that allows a nerve to pass through on each side. The nerves that pass between the vertebrae in the lower back travel down each leg while the nerves that pass between the vertebrae in the lower neck travel down each arm.
Individually, each disc can be compared to a jelly donut - they have a softer gel-like center surrounded by a tougher exterior. Like a jelly donut, the interior can sometimes squeeze out. Unlike a jelly donut, this can be more than a minor annoyance; this can compress the nearby nerve and cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, numbness and tingling or even weakness in an arm or leg.
The good news is that spinal disc herniations can usually be treated with conservative chiropractic care without the need for surgery. Such treatments may include gentle adjustment (manipulation) and/or cold laser therapy. Depending on the problem type and severity of each particular case, segmental traction therapy may be necessary in order to reduce the degree of disc herniation and relieve pressure on the nearby nerve.
It is important that pinched nerves and disc-related conditions be evaluated by a qualified chiropractor before recommendations can be made and is dependant on each individual situation. Should you be experiencing arm or leg pain, neck or lower back pain, schedule a visit with our clinic immediately! We can quickly determine the best course of action for you to take. Call us today for your better tomorrow!