Disc Conditions – From Your Arlington Heights Chiropractic Team
Most people have heard the term “slipped disc” or some other term related to disc conditions in the spine. While a slipped disc is not a technical term, it does give you an idea that something went wrong with a disc. In chiropractic medicine, we refer to disc conditions with names more specific to what is occurring in your back and neck – like bulging disc, herniated disc, and degenerative disc disease. Whatever your disc condition, there is a good chance that a skilled chiropractor can get you some relief and help you heal. We encourage you to get in touch with our Arlington Heights chiropractic team to learn more about your treatment options!
What are Vertebral Discs?
Vertebral discs are shock absorbers that sit between your vertebrae. Each disc is made up of a tough outer layer and a softer inner layer. While everyone starts out with discs that are mostly water, as people age the discs lose moisture and their ability to cushion the spine. Discs can be damaged or torn due to injuries, like lifting something heavy or a car accident, and can deteriorate over time due to old age.
Types of Disc Conditions
Disc conditions are very common causes for back pain, ranging from a mild ache to debilitating discomfort. These conditions include:
A herniated disc is a condition where the tough outer layer of the disc has torn, allowing the fluid inside the disc to leak out. Interestingly, most of the time the tear is not what causes the pain. It is the fluid leaking out of the disc that irritates and inflames the surrounding nerves which cause pain. Sometimes a piece of the disc’s outer layer can even dislodge and make its way into the spinal column.
The disc does not have to tear open to cause issues in the spine. A bulging disc remains relatively intact, but the disc bulges out into the spinal column and presses on nerves. A bulging disc can be quite painful, leading to chronic discomfort.
Degenerative Disc Disease
The term degenerative disc disease is used to describe the various alterations in the discs that happen due to aging or following an injury. Discs tend to dry up over time, making them less effective at cushioning the vertebrae and leading to friction, irritation, pinched nerves and pain. Degenerative disc disease can eventually lead to osteoarthritis. It can also make the discs more prone to bulging and herniation, which can pinch nerves.
Treatment for Disc Conditions
Chiropractic care, including manual adjustments, spinal mechanical traction, massage and rehabilitation exercises, can often provide considerable relief from symptoms of disc conditions like back pain, neck pain, pinched nerves, and sciatica. Our team is experienced and skilled in both the diagnosis and treatment of all types of disc conditions, and we are ready to help to reduce your pain and improve your health. Please give us a call at (847) 259-4493 to schedule an appointment.