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Why Did My Discs Compress So Much?

Your spinal discs lie between the vertebrae and are designed to be “shock absorbers” and “spacers” between the spinal bones. They are made of very strong fibrocartilage (made of collagen) and a less dense area in the middle made of some collagen and a jelly-like substance. But even though discs are made of strong tissue, they are usually under many different types of forces that cause them to weaken and for the inner nuclear “jelly” to push outward; often times causing nerve irritation and damage.

Disc degeneration and compression happen due to a variety of reasons that usually happen together over time. In almost every case, there are four main reasons why your discs get bulged or herniated:

  • Spinal vertebrae get stuck out of alignment due to too much stress on your skeletal system; leading to disc stress.
  • Poor posture habits and weakened muscles cause you to lose your normal curves in your spine.
  • Too much sitting causes increased compression forces in the discs, especially in the low back and neck.
  • Past traumas and injuries, even minor ones, create compression forces and damage the outer layers of the disc which allows the jelly-like material to begin to bulge outward.
bulg disc

The most serious disc problem is a prolapsed disc in which the soft center ruptures and leaks.

Once there’s enough compression, the outer layer of the disc weakens and tiny fissures or openings get created in the disc. This allows the inner disc material to begin to bulge outward.

If enough of the disc bulges out and the jelly-like material comes outside of the disc, it is called a herniation. And if the herniation is near a nerve root, this can irritate the nerve to the point where you may experience numbness, tingling or pain; usually in down the leg or arm depending on where the nerve is located.

Medical doctors including orthopedists and pain management doctors usually just give medications or inject drugs near the offending discs to eliminate the pain. Also, spine surgeons may suggest surgery to fuse the bones together or cut out a piece of disc. However, these procedures, if they work at all, are usually temporary and do not address the cause of the problem at all.

Therefore, the best chance for permanent relief, is to address the actual causes of the problem which are mentioned above. Dr. Kawa is an expert at finding and fixing the cause of disc bulges and herniations and his techniques and therapies are concentrated on the following:

  • Releasing any vertebrae that are stuck and not moving properly. This will free up the spine and take stress of the area of disc degeneration.
  • Help you regain normal posture patterns so that the curves in your spine can be restored which will take significant stress of the discs.
  • Use a special device called a spinal decompression table to gently stretch the spine and discs to relieve the pressure being placed on the disc. Dr. Kawa is one of the only chiropractors in Brick NJ with spinal decompression tables and years of experience using them .

You can be sure that at Discover Chiropractic, Dr. Kawa will use only conservative measures aimed at getting you to heal rather than just simply covering up your symptoms. Call today for a no-charge consultation with Dr. Kawa to discuss how he can help you heal; 732-920-8844

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How does chiropractic help disc problems?
    The purpose of chiropractic care is to locate and correct areas of the spine interfering with the proper nervous system control of your body. Because the intervertebral discs are so close to the spinal cord and nerve roots, disc involvement is quite common in chiropractic cases. Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper motion and position of malfunctioning spinal bones, reducing nervous system involvement. If caught before permanent damage, disc tissue often returns to a more normal size and shape by restoring proper motion and position of affected spinal joints.
  • Aren’t disc problems simply the normal aging process?
    No. However, many disc problems are the result of years of neglect. Many spinal problems are nonsymptomatic until the advanced stages of degeneration. There are many cases of elderly patients who have maintained their spine throughout their lives who enjoy excellent spinal health and function.
  • I didn’t do anything so how can a disc be involved?
    This is a common refrain. Because our bodies are unusually adaptive, we can often accommodate a variety of stresses for years. Finally, like the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” we turn or bend funny and suddenly our spine succumbs to the accumulation of stress.