A disc is a cartilage like structure that lies between the vertebrae (bones) in the spine. The discs act as cushions for the vertebrae and space creators for the nerves that exit through the openings in the spine. They contain a gel like structure in their middle to help absorb and distribute shock. Without these discs the bones (vertebrae) of the spine would sit on top of each other and crush the nerves causing severe pain and dysfunction.

When too much localized pressure is applied to the spine the gel can be pushed out of the middle of the disc and into these openings for the nerves. The nerve gets distressed causing pain.

Localized pressure can be caused by trauma to the spine (eg. a car accident) or long term compression in the spine. More often than not a disc becomes herniated (or torn) because the muscles of the spine have been chronically contracting and forcing the vertebrae together decreasing the space between them. This compression over time wears out the outside layers of the disc creating an environment where they can easily be herniated.

They key to good disc health is to create an environment in the spine where the vertebrae have an abundant amount of space and the muscles are not chronically contracting.

This Post Has 14 Comments

    1. i am a chiropractor and spilaiceze in spine related injuries. the disc acts as both a cushion and a spacer between each vertebrae. if a disc is bulging/herniated, that bulge can put pressure on the nerves exiting between each vertebra which causes a pinched nerve. also if the disc is wearing out (getting thinner) you lose the space between the vertebra, which leaves less room for those nerves to exit and again can pinch a nerve. the nerves in your cervical spine (neck) go all the way down your arm while the nerves in your lumbar spine (low back) form the sciatic nerve which runs all the way down your leg. if any of these are pinched they can cause pain, numbess, tingling, weakness wherever these nerves go (down arms/legs).as a chiropractor i see this type of scenario on a daily basis. for those who have degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, disc bulging, etc. normal chiropractic care can usually help with those problems. but there are also many people out there that have had this problem for many years and can’t find relief with anything they try including chiropractic. but now there is a treatment that is perfect for your situation and the best part is: it’s non-surgical and non-invasive. if you haven’t heard of it yet it is called spinal decompression. this type of treatment focuses on disc injuries and the problems they cause. i use the DRX9000 spinal decompression system in my office and it works wonders for people with these types of injuries (approx. 90% successful). the DRX9000 is fda approved and is the best decompression system available (there are cheap knock-offs that don’t give the same results). my recommendation would be to see a chiro, especially if you’ve never tried it before-just to see what they have to say. also do some research on this treatment and then contact someone (usually a chiro) who uses it in their office. i would just google DRX9000 to find info on it and doctors in your area who may have it. this treament is able to encourage the disc to go back to it’s normal orientation and also rebuild its height which then takes the pressure off whatever nerve it is compressing. pain meds, cortisone shots, epidurals won’t do anything to solve the problem all they do is cover it up and they become less and less effective over time. surgery AT BEST is 50% successful and usually doesn’t solve the problem since most people need another surgery 5-10 years down the road for the same issue. it’s typically a viscious cycle. remember: surgery is always an option, so try something prior to surgery to see if you can avoid it cause once you do the surgery there is no going back.this treatment is extremely effective for degenerative disc disease, disc bulging, herniation, etc. and also sciatica type of cases, especially if you haven’t had surgery yet. i’ve had many patients who were scheduled for surgery, tried this treatment as a last resort, and then ended up cancelling their surgery altogether after treatment was completed. it really does work and that’s what my recommendation would be for you. good luck and hopefully this gives insight to others experiencing similar problems there is a solution!!!

      1. I have the same problem as you htrniaeed disc at L4-5 and degen. disc disease, It was so bad three yrs ago I couldn’t walk. they wanted to to surgery I opted for epidural injections, physical therapy and I have a tens machine at home now. The pain is still there but, not as bad, I’m 40 yrs old so I had to compare the risks of the surgery versus the risks of not having it. I chose not to have it because I also have a few health problems. I would look into what your drs are saying. good luck

      2. I don’t know about cost of surgeries, but I do know about heitraned discs. They will heal without surgery in most cases. But it does take a lot of time for the disc to reabsorb. I hope you feel better and do well. Good luck.References :

      3. My mom had 2 herniated discs in her back. She enuatevlly had to get surgery because the pain was so severe. It actually caused her to have a pinched nerve and every time she would get up or suddenly move she would get a sharp pain that went from her back all the way down her leg. I don’t think this is something you should avoid seeing the doctor on. Things will only get worse.

  1. I’m sorry to hear that you’re in pain cttnoasnly. The biofreeze is definitely not a cure-all, and unfortunately, nothing works for everyone. However, I’ve seen great results with it in my clinic, which is why I discuss it.

    1. Ashwini, can you explain the use of Biofreeze for us? Thanks.

    2. I have had many spinal inenctiojs and it does depend on what kind you are having a simple nerve injection or a lumber puncture. The more common is injecting into a spinal nerve ending which is not too painful a bit uncomfortable for a few days after, it should not be very painful during the procedure. This type of injection can last from about 6 months to a year with reasonable results a decrease in pain and often allowing more mobility because of less back and leg pain. This type of injection can be repeated on a regular basis and some hospitals will give you a direct phone number to book a repeat injection when necessary. It is fairly risk free but don’t drive directly after and take a friend as sometimes the legs go wobbly for a while, temporary side effects. The lumbar puncture steroid injection is a very different procedure and not as common these days, it involves injecting steroid straight into the space in the spinal column. It is a more risky procedure and can be fairly painful but can greatly help especially when mobility is near non-existent, strenghtening the spine and helping some people to walk again after serious spinal problems. Personally if it is an epidural nerve injection I would advise you to have it, they work extremely well, in my experience they have improved the pain by up to 30% and greatly helped with mobility. The small amount of discomfort is worth it and a good hospital should have a repeat program, bypassing long waiting lists, so that any releif gained can be maintaned. If you are worried about any risks it would be best to discuss it with your specialist or a member of his team who will reassure you. I hope this helps and feel free to mail me if I can help with advice Andy

      1. I think its a good idea to try non surgical spainl decompression. There are no side effects. Treatment is painless, easy and results are quick. No medication, no surgery, no side effects .I would exhaust all treatment options before going for surgery. Surgery is invasive, and there is rehab involved. Plus you have to get medication for pain control and to control infections etc. Most people who get on this treatment are suffering from severe chronic lower . Most times, surgery is the last option, and they have been recommended surgery by their orthopedic. They have tried drugs, epidurals, injections, PT, chiro, acupuncture and traction. Not everyone is a candidate for this though- if you have had fusion surgery in the lumbar spine, surgical repair of an abdominal aorta, a fracture or cancer of the L spine or pelvis or suffer from severe osteoporosis- you may not be a candidate. The Dr has to take a look at your MRI’s as well to assess the disc level. I have never heard of any side effects of the treatment, so I would go for a consult to see if you are a candidate for this treatment. Hope this helps.P.s I have seen many people who have been helped with non surgical spainl decompression- please at least see a Dr to see if you qualify for treatment. I have given you some good links to see how this treatment helped others.

      2. See a Chiropractor. Or even your regular dootcr might be able to snap your back into place. Mine did. Chiropractors do this thing where they lie you on your side and they twist you. I am sure that will fix your problem. You cannot do it yourself either because the positioning makes it hard for you to use full force. Also, you need someone else’s body weight to do it. I would see the dootcr and get in the habit of lifting with your legs. It’s tough but possible. In the meantime, keep ice on that spot to reduce inflamation. 15 minutes of ice with an hour in between to let the back breathe.

  2. I have tried the bzfereoie. It didn’t seem to work for me. A cream next to it (at walmart)has chondroitin glucosomine also cooling, gave me relief. My bad disc is lower back. I also have had my neck go out with the same extremity! I had to physically lift my head off the bed..pain is excruciating..And I always have pain. Just thought I’d share.

    1. Vishal, try adding 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil into a bath. It will help to open up your muscles and rejuvenate your nervous system. A product called Traumeel (http://www.traumeel.com/) also works great to put on the skin.

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Pelvic wall – 1st muscles to contract when inhaling

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