“Slipped Disc”

back pain

We all know someone who has “slipped a disc”!!  The good news is that slipping a disc is not possible!

The vertebral discs between each vertebrae cannot “slip out” – so what is actually happening when someone has “slipped a disc”??

The spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae with a vertebral disc between each.  There are 23 vertebral discs in the human spine.  Each intervertebral disc is made of a stiffer outer ring surrounding an inner, gel-like centre.

The role of these discs is to act as shock absorbers of the spine.  This allows them to support heavy loads while still allowing a good amount of movement.

Causes of “slipped disc” (also known as a prolapsed or herniated disc)

The disc has not physically slipped out, but rather the disc herniation is a bulge in one direction.  Possible factors that may contribute to a disc herniation are:-

  • Injury to the area
  • Chronic deterioration due to factors like poor posture
  • Sitting too long (slouching)
  • Poor lifting techniques
  • Abdominal muscle weakness
  • Being overweight

Symptoms include:-

  • Pain and numbness, most commonly on one side of the body
  • Pain that extends to your arms or legs
  • Pain that worsens at night or with certain movements
  • Pain that worsens after standing or sitting
  • Pain when walking short distances
  • Unexplained muscle weakness

How can your Chiropractor help?

Chiropractic treatment is a non-surgical treatment option for herniated discs.  Your Chiropractor will go through your medical history and perform a physical examination, orthopaedic and neurological tests.

Your Chiropractor will carefully assess your posture and may need to take x-rays to help with the diagnosis, although the discs cannot be seen on x-ray there may be an underlying issue with the vertebral bodies or other bony structures that are causing or contributing to the problem.

The good news is that most intervertebral disc injuries are related to a herniated disc and your Chiropractor can provide you with various treatment options.

These may include:-

  • Spinal manipulation (also known as adjustments)
  • Traction therapy
  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Massage

Your treatment plan will depend on your pain, level of activity, overall health and what your Chiropractor thinks best!

If you think you may have a herniated disc or would like further information, please contact the clinics on :Luton (01582) 579687, Hitchin (01462) 420077 or email us on:hitchin@healesclinics.com, luton@healesclinics.com


Peter Heale Chiropractor in Hitchin and LutonFrom the team at Heale's Chiropractic Clinics
Over 30 years of helping people in Hitchin and Luton and the surrounding areas of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

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