Chiropractor for Slipped Disc

Intervertebral Disc Injuries aka Slipped Disc are one of the most common conditions we treat as Chiropractors. This is because these gel filled discs that act as cushions between spinal bones are placed under great pressure when we are in slouched or hunched position.

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Hours of sitting at work or carrying out our daily routines with a slouched posture can add to our disc pressure. Disc damage can first be felt as soreness or stiff joints and often progresses to acute pain at the site of injury, usually the neck or lower back are affected.

A significantly damaged Disc may press on important spinal nerve roots which carry messages from the brain to our body. Obviously this is bad, and may cause numbness, tingling, muscle twitching or muscle weakness in the arms or legs. If treated in time Chiropractic care can help to safely treat this problem and restore the healthy You.

Disc injuries

Chances are, you’ve heard of the term ‘slipped disc’, or know of someone who suffers from a ‘slipped disc’. So what is it?

The basics

The bones that form the spine are cushioned by discs. These discs have 2 layers, a strong outer layer, and a gel-like inner layer.

What is the function of the disc?

The disc functions to - Hold the bones together, and allow movement of the spine - Act as a cushion and distribute load across the joint. It serves as the spine’s shock absorbing system when you walk, run, bend, or twist. - Prevent grinding/ friction between two bones

What is disc degeneration

Like any part of the body, discs wear and tear with age due to the physical loads of daily life. As you age, discs dry up, lose flexibility, and may change in shape. This process of degeneration is often sped up in young people, where increased pressure is placed on the disc in daily life.

What causes disc injuries

Disc injuries may develop suddenly, or gradually over weeks, months, or years.

  1. Slouching Posture increases pressure in the disc and causes it to age prematurely. Poor posture can cause discs to degenerate at an early age, with a degenerated disc even a relatively minor movement, or the act of lifting something light can cause a disc to rupture.

  2. Trauma: In the case of a traumatic injury, the spine may lurch forward forcefully, causing bone to compress on the disc beyond normal limits. This can result in a tear in the outer layer of the disc, causing the soft inner portion of the disc to push out through the tear.

  3. Repetitive movement: Repetitive twisting and bending causes insult to the disc which may result in weakening of the outer layer. Over time, the outer layer becomes more prone to tearing or rupturing even with a minor strain.

What puts you more at risk?

  1. Sedentary lifestyle

  2. Genetics. Research shows that if you have family members who have spine problems, you are more predisposed to disc injury.

  3. The nature of your job. If your job requires repetitive twisting and bending, you are more at risk of low back injury

  4. Being overweight.

  5. Smoking

Disc herniation and disc bulge

A disc bulge is when the disc weakens, and bulges out relatively evenly around its circumference.

Disc herniation is when the nucleus in the centre of the disc protrudes out beyond the tough outer damaged ring. A disc herniation is like a jelly donut that is being compressed, and the jelly inside protrudes out of the bread at one small area. A disc herniation usually protrudes further out as compared to a disc bulging, more likely to press on, or irritate nerve roots

What are the symptoms of a disc injury?

Symptoms vary, depending on what part of the spine is affected, the position and the size of the disc bulge/ herniation.

  • Low back pain or neck pain
  • Muscle weakness in the arms or legs
  • Pain, numbness, or tingling in the shoulders, upper back, arms, hands, thighs, calves, or feet.
  • Pain when coughing or sneezing
  • Pain when straightening the leg
  • Difficulty bending or straightening the back

Interestingly, not all slipped discs will cause symptoms. Some people may have herniated discs, but experience no symptoms at all.

How can we help?

Chiropractic is your best conservative option when it comes to disc herniations. Specific chiropractic adjustments to areas of dysfunction can help decrease inflammation and irritation to the area. Our management also includes decompression therapy, soft tissue therapy, and rehabilitative exercises. Besides alleviating symptoms, we are interested in future proofing your body so that we can prevent a recurrence. We do so by checking and correcting spinal function, and structure and performing rehabilitative exercises. Surgery is usually the last resort as it is invasive and does not always result in predictable results. For disc injuries, come and visit the best chiropractors in Singapore, and we’d love to help you regain your health.

S Leemann, C.K Peterson, C Schmid, B Anklin, K Humphreys. Outcomes of Acute and Chronic Patients With Magnetic Resonance Imaging–Confirmed Symptomatic Lumbar Disc Herniations Receiving High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude, Spinal Manipulative Therapy: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study With One-Year Follow-Up. JMPT 2014, Vol 37 (Mar-Apr) p155-163

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