Discs at Risk

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Are your discs at risk? Do you experience throbbing pain, mild tingling, dull ache, or a burning sensation in your back or neck? This may be a result of a disc problem or impending disc impairment.

Vertebral discs are essential to normal back function. Discs are cushiony pads between each vertebra that allow our bodies to bend and twist with ease. They are also our “shock absorbers” for more abrupt movements and weight bearing activities. When these discs are damaged, that sweet flexible back we took for granted is no longer cooperating. Some common ailments associated with vertebral discs are herniated discs, disc degeneration, and disc tears.

A herniated disc is a protrusion or bulge through the outer wall of the disc. The pain associated with this syndrome can be felt at the site of the disc herniated or down the nerve pathway that is affected by the herniation. These nerves pathways can cause pain radiation to the neck, shoulder, arms, lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet depending on which disc is protruding and which nerve is being impinged.

Disc degeneration is seen in the normal process of aging on the spine. On a radiology exam, it is usually the first sign of forthcoming arthritis or osteoporosis of the spine. For some, it occurs much earlier or much more severe than others, especially in the case of a misaligned spine or injury that has placed more stress on the vertebral structures than normal. As the disc begins to show signs of weakening or aging, it will lend itself to several other spinal conditions and limit the range of motion due to pain or because the disc no longer has the high functionality that it once had.

Disc tears are mostly associated with an injury or within the susceptibility of an aging or degenerating spine. When the vertebral disc sustains a crack or tear in the tough outer shell of the disc it can significantly increase the risk for a disc herniation where the inner material of the disc begins to protrude through the now compromised disc.

If you feel you may be suffering a disc problem, please visit our Condition Check Tool available on our website or call us for a free evaluation.