Lower back pain and the discs-Chiropractic topics

The discs of the lumbar spine are a common cause of back pain. It is estimated that the lumbar disc accounts for about one third of lower back pain. Most commonly disc problems are seen in men between 25 and 60 years old. As we age the disc becomes less fluid and has less of a chance to herniate. Many disc herniations are largely asymptomatic for many years but can flare up periodically and cause back and leg pain. Up to half the population has some type of abnormality of the disc. Most disc problems occur at the lowest disc in the spine called the L5 disc. The disc is composed of two parts. The outer part is a tough ligament that limits rotation. The inner part is a pulpy fluid center that is a shock absorber. A herniation occurs when the inner pulpy part squirts through the outer ligament. Once the center squirts out it can never go back into the center of the disc. If the material the squirts out contacts a nerve then sciatica may result. Often a complete recovery from back pain may occur in a herniation but the size of the herniated material has not changed.
Chiropractic techniques in treating disc problems center on gentle mobilization of the joints and stretching techniques to reduce pressure on the disc. The technique called lumbar flexion distraction is a special traction technique that opens the spaces between the joints to depressuring the discs. Chiropractic adjustments are intended to improve the motion of stuck joints and allow them to move more freely. It is generally recommended that anyone suffering from back pain undergo at least three weeks of Chiropractic treatment before considering more aggresive approaches such as MRI or orthopedic consultation. Most cases of back pain can resolve within three weeks even if there is reason to suspect a herniation of the disc. Severe disc herniations are very uncommon but may cause weakness in the legs or numbness. Severe disc herniations are a cause for concern and should have immediate MRI imagining.

About drtom

I help people through chiropractic care and acupuncture.
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