Intervertebral Disc Syndrome

The intervertebral disc is found between each vertebrae, acting as a shock absorber for the spinal column. The disc is made up of a nucleus, which is a gel-like consistency, and concentric layers of surrounding fibers called the annulus fibrosis. There are many different problems which can occur with the intervertebral disc, beginning with internal derangement and ending with complete extrusion of the nucleus.

Disc herniation is a term commonly heard in regards to back pain. Disc herniation is often the result of years of repetitive back injury. Only a minor degree of trauma is then needed to finally herniate the disc. The annulus fibrosis surrounds the nucleus of the disc. The annular fibers are often torn from the middle outward with minor injury to the back, with the final tear allowing the nucleus to release into the spinal canal. Prior to the herniation, the disc bulges out. This bulging often causes compression on nearby structures, including spinal nerves or the cord itself. If this occurs in the low back, sciatica often results. If in the neck, shooting pain down the arms may result.

If detected at an early stage, disc syndromes can be treated successfully with chiropractic therapies. Adjustments of surrounding segments, as well as flexion distraction to the involved segments have been shown to be very effective in treating disorders of the intervertebral disc. Lumbar spine disc disorders are effectively treated by chiropractic care along with those disorders in the cervical spine. Nutritional supplementation can help reduce inflammation. Very severe cases are often surgical in nature, especially those in the cervical spine.