What are Spinal Discs?
Spinal discs are rubber-like ligaments located between each of the vertebra in the spine. Each is designed to act as a shock absorber, and also as a glue if you will, to hold all of the vertebrae pieces together. They allow more flexibility for the back, and also act as a protective encasing for the fragile spinal cord located within the spinal column itself. Each disc consists of two parts: Annulus Fibrosus which is the outer portion, and the Nucleus Pulposus which is the inner portion. There are 23 total discs throughout the spine and a problem with any of them will pose unique symptoms depending on the location and which disc is injured.
Causes of Damaged and Ruptured Discs
Some of the most common injuries among spinal discs is slipped or herniated discs. In simple terms, a slipped disc is when the disc repositions slightly between the two vertebrae so it is no longer centered offering equal absorption. A herniated disc is where the disc pushes through a crack or the side of the vertebrae. Slipped and herniated discs can be a result of overexertion, heavy lifting, repetitive movements, obesity, athletic activities, or traumatic injuries. If a person becomes involved in an accident of some kind, or if they experience a harsh fall, the ligaments can either become misplaced or misaligned, resulting in a slipped or herniated disk. Also, when our bodies begin to age, the discs start losing their pliability. This will also cause them to become more susceptible to regular wear and tear. The discs are essentially cushions that slowly deteriorate and dehydrate over time therefore causing compression among the vertebrae. This can potentially cause back pain but not always.
Signs of Slipped Discs
Those who might be suffering from disc problems could be experiencing pain and numbness centralized to one side of the body, which could potentially extend to the arms and legs, as well. At times, patients may experience more pain in the evenings when they lie down for bed, or after sitting or standing for more prolonged periods of time. Other red flags could also be muscle weakness, tingling, aching or burning in the affected areas throughout the body. Instability of the spine is also a potential symptom, which can cause severe pain and limit mobility.
Treatment for Disc Problems
Not everyone with spinal disc issues have pain or discomfort. In fact most of the population over the age of 40 have some kind of disc problem that can been with an MRI, whether or not it causes symptoms is another story. Up to 90% of people suffering from disc problems can find relief without the need for surgery or medications. Our physical therapists at Life Health Medical Clinic will design an individual patient treatment plan with your specific needs in mind. Our structural integration methods are not only just for treating symptoms, but they are also created with your complete health in mind to help restore your overall quality of life. Testing for a diagnosis relating to a spinal disc does not always find the root source of the issue and pain which is why we take it further. We don’t solely rely on scans to tell us what the problem is, instead we listen to our patients and their history to find the root cause. Without the root cause, we would just be masking your symptoms which could leave you in more pain and more injured in the future. We have been helping Salt Lake Valley residents to find relief from disc problems and pains for over 10 years. Please call us today to schedule an appointment for your consultation visit, and get back on track to living the life you deserve!