Herniated discs are extremely common and they don’t just cause soreness in the back; they can also compress nerves headed elsewhere in the body. Dr. Alajajian and his staff in Glendale, CA, provide patients with expert holistic treatment for symptoms and work to put the body in the best position to heal itself. But preventive care is also one of our priorities, so we want our patients to know more about disc degeneration.
The spinal discs are the shock absorbers in between the main bodies of articulated vertebrae. They are made up of a gel center, the nucleus pulposus, and a fibrous outer ring, the annulus fibrosus. Degenerative disc disease is different from a disc being injured by an acute injury, although it puts discs at greater risk of being damaged by a sudden blow. It is unclear why the discs lose water as people age, but as their shape changes, they tend to bulge outward and become less springy. When the annulus fibrosus ruptures, it releases inflammatory proteins, and the swelling of the surrounding tissues or the disc itself may compress a nerve.
We test for herniated discs with a combination of imaging and tactile examinations. Treatment options include chiropractic adjustments to move swollen tissues back into place, as well as inflammation-reducing soft tissue therapy. But the keys to combating disc degeneration include good posture, strong cores, and good nutrition and hydration. These will ease the pressure put on spinal discs by distributing a person’s weight more evenly, subjecting the discs to less daily wear and tear.