So you have slipped a disc have you?
Your 23 discs are strategically positioned between the bones of your spinal column, attached to the vertebra, they act as shock absorbers and assist with movement. A disc is comprised of a tougher outer ring structure and a softer, jelly like inner portion. Despite many popular beliefs claiming the contrary they don’t and won’t slip. It is vital that you understand the type of disc injury you are dealing with.
There are numerous stages of a disc injury, each of which may be managed in different ways. Thus it is important to understand what stage you are at. A disc may bulge, prolapse, herniate or even sequestrate.
The 4 Stages of Disc Damage
Stage 1: Degeneration
Hydration of the disc is lost, it therefore becomes less elastic and more brittle.
Stage 2: Prolapse/Bulge
Tiny tears of the outer fibrous ring make way for the softer inner gel-like part of the disc to bulge out or produce a “bubble”. This is often referred to as the bulging disc. The material from the inner part of the disc is still contained.
Stage 3: Extrusion
Once part of the inner disc breaks through the outer fibrous layer but remains within the confines of the disc we have an extrusion.
Stage 4: Sequestration
The final development occurs when the inner gel of the disc leaks through the outer annular layer of the disc and moves into the spinal canal.
The pain associated with disc injuries can vary from very little to extreme, and may also be associated with nerve or neurological signs like muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, pins and needles or numbness.
Our skilled Chiropractors & Occupational Therapists can help you navigate your way out of pain and back to better health. Such injuries are vulnerable to future episodes so a well planned rehabilitation program is vital.
If you have any further questions, we are happy to discuss with you. Call us on (08) 9382 3466.