Slipped disc treatment involves the release of pressure off of the injured disc. This can be done in several different ways such as soft tissue manipulation or even manual traction, but a common and effective approach is through chiropractic manipulation of the vertebrae surrounding the affected disc. A slipped disc, or bulged disc as it is more appropriately termed, can occur anywhere along the spine. This is an injury which can range from mild to severe and be caused by a variety of activities. Improperly lifting heavy objects, poor posture and repetitive tasks are major culprits of disc injuries. A truth regarding disc injuries is that they require your cooperation and dedication to truly heal. You will have to actively alter your lifestyle in order to heal and prevent a recurrence. This can mean mending the way you perform activities, exercising more, sitting less or eliminating an activity altogether. Any changes you make during this time will only improve your health and wellness further down the line. Once you have sustained this sort of injury the chances of recurrence are greater , so there is as much onus on you to prevent a recurrence as there is on your practitioner to help heal your current injury.
The term “slipped disc” is actually a misnomer. Your spinal discs are formed of a fibrous cartilage which is more or less cemented to the vertebral bones above and below it, preventing it from slipping at all. Inside the center of the fibrous disc is a pulpy substance which has a consistency much like pudding. This substance helps to absorb shock in your spine and spread pressures out evenly. A good visual of a spinal disc is to picture a jelly donut. As you move and bend the jelly will move around inside the disc sometimes squishing all against one side when you are performing a movement such as bending and other times spreading out to absorb weight. Normally this would be acceptable however, in situations where you are bending a lot or bending while lifting weight, you begin to deteriorate the fibrous disc tissue that holds this jelly-like substance in. This is when you would have a disc-bulge rather than a “slip.” The bulge is the jelly innards of the disc breaking through the disc tissue and protruding out beyond the edges of the disc. Most commonly, a few layers of disc retain the jelly from actually seeping out of the disc – the loss of the jelly entirely is known as a sequestrated disc. While a sequestrated disc undoubtedly requires surgery, a bulging disc does not. A bulging disc is where you can apply slipped disc treatment to reverse the problem.
The reason a disc-bulge is so painful is because there are only two areas on the disc exposed enough where the disc can bulge. It just so happens that these areas are right where the spinal nerves exit the vertebrae. This means that the bulge is now pushing on the corresponding spinal nerve(s) which is why, when you have a disc-bulge or “slipped disc”, you can have pain or numbness in your extremities that radiates outward. Many times people will believe they are suffering from a muscle or joint injury in their extremity only to find that the extremity is fine and the issue is resonating from their lumbar, thoracic or cervical spine. This phenomenon is known as radiculopathy and can be thought of in very basic terms, such as the way a television works. You plug the television into the wall and see a picture on the screen; where the outlet is your spine, the cord is your nerve and the television is your muscle. If the picture on the television goes out, people tend to assume the television is broken but never consider that perhaps the issue is at the plug. The human body functions similarly as far as cause and effect goes. Slipped disc treatment will relieve pressure from the intervertebral spinal disc, allowing the jelly to return back to the centre of the disc, thus eliminating the bulge and radicular pain.
Slipped disc treatment can be a little uncomfortable but when the patient and practitioner work in tandem to resolve the injury, the amount of treatment necessary can be significantly reduced and pain relief can begin to be achieved in as little as one visit. If you find yourself suffering from a disc injury and may be facing slipped disc treatment, commit yourself to participating in your own recovery by following your chiropractor’s directions and prescriptions.