What Is an Intervertebral Disc?

In the neck and back, we have discs that separate our vertebra, or spinal bones. These discs provide for optimal motion, structure, and shock absorption. The disc has two layers. The outer layer is called the annulus fibrosis, and the inner layer is called the nucleus. The annulus is made up of cartilage, while the nucleus is made of a gelatinous material.

When a disc is injured, pain can be produced in various ways. The annulus has nerve endings that run through it. When it is stretched, strained, or torn, there can be a deep and intense pain. The disc can also bulge, protrude, and/or herniate from its proper place. In some cases, the central nucleus can be pushed into the outer edge of the disc. The nucleus itself has no nerve endings and does not cause pain. However, the nucleus can push on other structures, including spinal nerves. This can cause a sharp shooting pain that can travel to the arms and or legs, cause numbness, or weakness.

For some disc injuries, chiropractic care can offer many solutions. Certain traction techniques can help bring the disc to it’s proper position and help the body properly heal itself. Pain from more severe disc injuries may respond to epidural injections. Some may even require surgical intervention. MRI is the best diagnostic imaging tool to detect a disc injury. As with everything, finding the problem is the first step to a solution.

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InLine Chiropractic
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