Herniated Discs

Between each vertebra of the spine are discs that act as shock absorbers and allow flexibility. A herniated disc occurs when the jelly-like inner portion pushes out through a tear in the tough outer layer. This can cause pain, numbness, and weakness. At Summit Chiropractic and Wellness in Louisville, we treat a variety of health conditions, including herniated discs.


What Do Intervertebral Discs Do?

Intervertebral discs have a thick outer ring of cartilage called the annulus fibrosus and a gel-filled center known as the nucleus pulposus. They act as cushions between vertebrae to absorb impact and prevent compression when we walk, bend, lift objects, and conduct other movements. Discs also enable a range of motion in the spine. Additionally, they help maintain proper spacing and alignment between vertebrae.

How Do Discs Get Injured or Degenerate?

There are several ways discs can become damaged:

    • Wear and tear from aging causes discs to degenerate and weaken over time, a condition called disc degeneration.

    • Injuries from heavy lifting, twisting motions, or compression can tear the outer annulus.

    • Degenerative disc disease results in discs drying out and shrinking.

    • A sudden straining motion like forceful sneezing or bending over may injure discs.

When the annulus fibrosus develops tears from injury or degeneration, the soft inner nucleus pulposus can bulge out or seep through. This is called a herniated disc.

What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?

Symptoms of a herniated disc may include:

    • Lower back or neck pain depending on disc location

    • Numbness, tingling sensations, weakness in arms, legs

    • Muscle spasms, cramping, stiffness in back/neck

    • Reduced flexibility and range of motion

Pain often worsens with certain positions or activities that compress the affected disc. Diagnostic imaging like MRI scans help determine the disc location and the level of herniation.

How Are Herniated Discs Treated?

Initial treatment from a chiropractor near you is typically conservative, focused on relieving symptoms:

    • Spinal chiropractic adjustments improve alignment and mobility

    • Spinal decompression therapy gently relieves pressure

    • Soft tissue therapies reduce inflammation

    • Physical therapy exercises strengthen supportive muscles

    • Acupuncture relieves muscle tension and pain

For severe herniation causing loss of function, surgery like discectomy may be necessary to remove portions of the disc. Lifestyle changes can also help manage symptoms long-term.

Contact Our Chiropractors in Louisville, CO

Don't let a herniated disc cramp your lifestyle. Our experts at Summit Chiropractic and Wellness, serving the greater Louisville area, provide customized care to help you find relief naturally. Call us today to schedule a consultation. We'll get you on the path to healing.

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