Spongy, shock-absorbing tissue known as “discs” separate all of the vertebrae in your spine. When one of these discs loses its normal shape and bulges out of its normal position, it is “bulging” or “herniated.” The damaged disc puts pressure on your spinal cord or nearby nerve roots, which leads to pain that varies in severity.
Depending on the location of your damaged discs, you may experience pain in different ways. For example, if you have herniated or bulging discs in your lower back, you may experience pain in your buttocks and down one or both of your legs. If you have bulging discs in your upper back, you may experience pain in your shoulders, hands, and/or arms. If your bulging discs have been present for a long time, you may even develop muscle atrophy and loss of strength in the affected area.
The discs in your back become bulging or herniated because of sudden or long-standing pressure on the vertebrae. One way to understand what happens to your discs is to picture a marshmallow sandwich cookie, with one piece of cookie above and below the marshmallow center. If you press on either cookie, the marshmallow center bulges out.
Conventional treatment for herniated and bulging discs usually involves anesthetic drugs injected into your discs or nerve root areas or oral pain medications. Conventional doctors may also recommend electrical stimulation, ultrasound, ice, or bed rest. However, in many cases, patients end up having surgery.
The chiropractors at Central Park West Wellness approach the treatment of bulging and herniated discs differently than conventional doctors. Though conventional doctors focus on the disc itself, your chiropractor focuses on dealing with the pressure on the vertebrae that caused the herniation in the first place.
During treatment for bulging or herniated discs, your chiropractor uses adjustments to reduce or eliminate pressure on the vertebrae, which, in turn, reduces the pressure on nerves. Your chiropractor also teaches you how to protect the integrity of your spine after treatment, so you won’t have the same problem again.
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