Suffer From Disc Problems in Bainbridge Island?
What are spinal discs? Discs are round and flat on the top and the bottom. They attached securely to the vertebra (spinal bones) both above and below them. There are 23 discs in total which are both flexible and rubbery. The inner core has the consistency of jelly that is made up primarily of water. The discs can be likened to a jelly donut. Shock is absorbed through the discs to allow the spine to bend and twist. As well, discs protect the nerves that run down the middle of the spinal column.
Roughly 1-2% of the population is believed to have a serious bulging disc in Bainbridge Island. More than 50 out of 100 elderly people who undergo an MRI are found to have some degree of a bulging disc. Bulging discs are twice as common in men than in women. The majority of disc bulging occurs in the lower back accounting for 90% of the cases. Only 1% occur within the thoracic spine. The pain that is felt while having a bulging disc is due to the swelling of the disc, nerve compression and chemical irritation of the nerve.
Overcoming Degenerative Disc Disease in Bainbridge Island
Degenerative disc disease is the deterioration of 1 or more intervertebral discs of the spine. Degenerative disc usually correlates with the patients age. About 40% of people ages 40 years and up have degenerative disc disease while 80% of 80-year olds will have this disease. The increase in this disease as we age is due to age related weakening. The discs become brittle and dry out which causes the disc to become less flexible and lose its elasticity. Unlike muscles which heal somewhat quickly, degenerative discs heal more slowly.
Living Well Chiropractic & Massage in Bainbridge Island explains that sciatica causes pain and/or numbness/tingling that is brought about by a nerve root irritation that leads to the sciatic nerve. This nerve is the largest single nerve in the whole body. It runs from each side of the spine, through the buttock and into the back side of the thigh down to the foot. Sciatica can be the result of gradual wear and tear over time, old traumas and improper lifting. Symptoms can vary depending on the location. Most occur in the low back causing pain in the buttocks, legs and feet. Nerve irritation in the neck can cause pain in the shoulder, arms and hands. Nerve roots act as a telegraph line to other parts of the body and can cause pain felt in other parts of the body. The radiating pain that is felt is referred to as radiculopathy.
Disc issues are generally diagnosed through a thorough history and physical. Your chiropractor at Living Well Chiropractic & Massage will check your range of motion and pain level. X-rays are usually the first step in imaging with a possible MRI. After the data has all been collected and a diagnosis has been established, your chiropractor will decide on the best treatment plan for you.
Early into an acute episode, a chiropractor will set a goal of pain control by using several modalities within the office. Spinal manipulation will help to realign the spinal bones while exercise will be helpful to strengthen the surrounding muscles to support your spine.
Decompression is widely used as a non-surgical and pain free method to help create additional space between the discs and relieve symptoms of numbness/tingling and radiculopathy. The spine is gently stretched and relaxed intermittently in a controlled manner to help pull back the bulging material back into the disc while also promoting the passage of nutrients into the disc for a more efficient healing environment.
Call Living Well Chiropractic & Massage in Bainbridge Island today to schedule an appointment.
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