Your Guide to Spinal Disc Health
Spinal discs are the small, squishy sacks that cushion the space between the bones in your spine, you can think of them kind of like a jelly doughnut. As you can guess, they’re pretty darn important. Unfortunately, problems with discs are common, but may be hard to understand. Disc problems can cause nerve root compressions, resulting in numbness and arm or leg pain. Here is your guide to your spinal disc health!
Slipped, herniated, ruptured and prolapsed discs are the same thing! What does it mean? It is when the outer shell of the disc has torn, which exposed the inner, softer part of the disc (the jelly inside the doughnut) and that part is now protruding. Often, this is accompanied by spinal fluid leaking out too. This is an extremely painful condition, as you may have guessed!
The pain can last up to a month, and the total time to heal depends on extent of the disc damage. Full recovery can take up to 6 months. You can help the healing process by resting and then slowly moving up to light physical activity, and don’t forget regular visits to your chiropractor! Heat and ice are also very useful.
Bulging discs are when the disc itself is protruding out of the space it usually belongs in. This can be a common inflammatory process for the spine and happens as an effect of age, pregnancy, trauma or high stress levels.
The pain associated with condition varies from excruciating if the bulged disc is pushing on other structures in the spine to slight if the swelling is less severe. A bulging disc can take quite a while to heal but if there is no surrounding damage the pain should go away when the swelling goes down and the disc can return to its normal position in the spinal column.
You can help the healing process by doing light activity, heat and ice, light stretching and of course any other treatments recommended by your chiropractor! Anything that relaxes and de-stresses you will help with a bulging disc.
There are a lot of ways you can help to prevent disc problems in your back. One of the best ways is regular exercise. A healthy diet, hydration, strengthening of your core muscles, using proper technique when lifting heavy or awkward objects and reducing stress are all great way to help the health of your discs! Remember, you only get one spine, so it’s important to take the best care of it you can. If you think you have any discs problems, talk to you chiropractor about it!