The spine can absorb a lot of impact thanks to the discs that are between each vertebra. These discs are composed of a tough and fibrous exterior and a soft pulpy interior. They are basically giant ligaments that keep the spine in place and allow you to bend and twist. They also function as shock absorbers for the spine. However, if a disc is damaged or becomes misaligned, the result can be pain. What may cause this to happen?
Injuries – Experiencing too much of a jolt can damage the exterior of a disc and cause the spongy interior material to bulge out.
Degeneration – Over time, the spongy material inside the discs can lose moisture and become stiff. This leads to an increased potential for damage. While this happens naturally with age, lifestyle and spinal health can cause degeneration to happen prematurely.
Blood doesn’t flow to these discs. As a result, there is no way for the body to repair a disc naturally. Therefore, damaged discs can lead to long-term pain without intervention. How can you know if you are experiencing a disc problem?
The Most Common Symptoms of a Disc Problem
When you are experiencing problems with a disc, this can cause nerve compression. Wearing away of the discs can also cause the vertebrae to rub against each other. As a result, the most common symptoms are as follows:
Pain when sitting – Sitting already puts more pressure on the spine than standing. If a disc is bulging, damaged, or out of place, even the pressure of sitting can cause pain.
Pain that is worse in the morning – When you are lying down, your spine may move into an uncomfortable position that makes the disc issues even worse. Therefore, after hours of sleeping, the pain will often feel worse than it does once you get up and begin moving around.
Radiating pain/tingling in the extremities – This is the symptom that has to do with nerve compression. When pressure is placed on a nerve due to a bulging or ruptured disc, pain will radiate from the area. You may even experience tingling in your arms and legs, depending on which nerves are experiencing the pressure.
Can Chiropractic Treatment Help a Disc Issue?
While it can take a long time to recover from disc pain, the good news is that you may be able to reduce the pain and slow the degeneration of the disc by keeping the vertebrae properly aligned. This takes the pressure off the damaged disc and nerves that are being compressed. Call Ward Chiropractic & Rehabilitation today at 703.672.1661 to learn more, or you can book an appointment online.