Accessibility View Close toolbar

What is a “Slipped Disc”?

A “slipped” disc is the common term for a prolapsed or herniated spinal disc. These discs are set in position between the vertebrae and do not “slip”. Instead, the disc’s outer, fibrous ring tears, thereby allowing the soft, inner portion to extrude through the tear and press against the spinal nerves. Inflammatory chemicals may also be released as a result of the tear and may cause significant, long-term pain.

slipped_disc.jpg

Depending on the location of the “slipped” disc, the individual may experience numbness and tingling sensations in the extremities, sciatica and even erectile dysfunction, in addition to the localized pain.

Diagnosis can be performed using a number of methods (X-rays, computed tomography, discography), but a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI) is usually the most effective, as it can provide highly detailed three-dimensional images of the affected area. These methods, however, are generally reserved for those cases where natural recovery has failed to improve the symptoms. Because chiropractic care falls under “natural recovery”, it is often not necessary to have an MRI before beginning chiropractic care.

A physical examination is commonly performed prior to imaging tests and can include the testing of reflexes, sensations and muscle strength in the extremities and the patient’s ability to walk. These tests may include the straight-leg raising test where the patient slowly raises each of his or her legs individually while lying down. A slipped disc usually induces pain and/or numbness in patients as they raise their legs beyond two-thirds of their normal range.

The most effective care for the majority of “slipped” discs consists of your chiropractor performing specific, scientific, chiropractic adjustments to correct the underlying cause of most weakened, and even “slipped” discs, spinal subluxation. Other types of care generally consist of the patient practicing gentle exercises and/or taking prescribed painkillers (if there is significant pain), in the hopes that the disc shrinks of its own accord.

Lifting, reaching and sitting for long periods of time during recovery are to be avoided as they often aggravate the condition. However, exercise is important since movement encourages blood flow to the affected area. Swimming is one of the best methods for exercising during recovery because it releases the compression forces on the spine while promoting blood flow, thereby encouraging the torn disc to repair itself.

Natural recovery often can take months, and even years, and if the symptoms persist more information, (i.e., MRI) mentioned above can be applied. Depending on the severity of the tear, surgery may be necessary, but only after your body has been given ample time to heal. Patience is a real challenge when you are in pain, or are even disabled. A lack of patience is the reason why approximately 1 in 10 cases of herniated discs will end in surgery.

Surgery may consist of open discectomy (where all or a portion of the disc is removed, causing permanent impairment to that area, think of removing a finger and not being impaired), prosthetic disc replacement (where an artificial disc is inserted to replace the damaged disc which is very new and rarely successful), or endoscopic laser discectomy (where the compressed nerve causing the pain is cut around and part of the disc is removed using a laser and endoscope). Recovery from these types of surgery commonly takes weeks and months. In over 50% of cases further surgery will be performed.

The moral of this story is simple, spinal misalignments (subluxations) weaken the discs over decades of slow decay and contribute to the majority of disc issues. As with most conditions, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regular visits to your chiropractor will remove or reduce long standing subluxation so that it does not lead to a “slipped” disc. As a wonderful side effect, your nerve system will function better leading to better energy, less sickness and suffering and a life full of what you want, as opposed to having pain, going under the knife in the hospital, or simply hurting on a day-to-day basis.

You of course have your homework as well. Engage in regular exercise, avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time, maintain good posture, lift using the proper technique and drink plenty of water (so your discs stay well-hydrated). If you look after your general health and fitness, you will significantly reduce the likelihood of a “slipped” disc.



Call us at 253-566-4744 to take advantage of this exclusive offer.

You've always known that there was more to being healthy than taking drugs, or missing your favorite moments.

All for just $57.

A private Doctors consultation (so we can discuss your needs), a thorough examination (including chiropractic, orthopedic and neurological exams) and spinal x-rays (if necessary).

CONTACT US TODAY

We look forward to hearing from you

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Friday:

By Appointment

By Appointment

Saturday:

8:00 am - 10:00 am

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonial

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "For years I suffered with severe lower back pain, sciatica, and migraines. Looking back, I'm amazed I could take care of my kids. My husband is in the military and I am a stay at home mom, primarily. Through all our moving around I've seen military docs all over. The answer was always the same: PILLS, PILLS, PILLS! One day at the YMCA in Lakewood, I met Dr. Anderson. He had an information table and it seemed like he might be able to help me. Dr. Anderson made things a lot better and always treated me with respect and courtesy. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the staff at Discover Chiropractic!"
    Kelly Moore University Place, WA

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • Holiday Stress - Take a Deep Breath

    Most of us pay little attention, if any, to the daily functioning of our many physiological systems. Our hearts beat, our digestive systems digest, and our various hormones, such as those deriving from the thyroid gland, adrenal gland, and pancreas, do what they do. It's all good... until it's not. ...

    Read More
  • Proper Overindulgence Over the Holidays

    Proper Overindulgence Over The Holidays The term "overindulgence" is probably best assessed as a red flag, especially with respect to consistent overconsumption of high-calorie comfort food and desserts during the holiday season. An overall healthier perspective could be described as "indulgence" regarding ...

    Read More
  • The 5 Senses

    The 5 Senses The five senses, that is, the sense of sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell, provide us with necessary information regarding the world around us.1 These precious capabilities enable us to navigate our environment with seemingly instantaneous feedback with reference to our actions and ...

    Read More
  • The Benefits of Sleep for Adults

    Obtaining sufficient restful sleep is an essential requirement for optimal human productivity. Such a practice is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, which includes a nutritious diet, regular vigorous exercise, and a positive mental attitude. How much sleep one needs varies from person to person. ...

    Read More
  • Back to School and Mental Wellness

    Summer is a subjectively fleeting season and school days are upon us once again. For children, this bittersweet time marks the completion of a period of relative freedom and the beginning of a new set of responsibilities. For adults, the onset of late summer and early fall signals yet another turn of ...

    Read More
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries

    A repetitive motion injury (or overuse injury) involves doing an action over and over again, as with a baseball pitcher throwing a baseball, a tennis player hitting a tennis ball, typing at a computer keyboard, and most notoriously, typing with your thumbs on the tiny keypad of your phone. It may be ...

    Read More
  • Left-Handers Day

    Left-Handers Day Left-Handers Day, celebrated on August 15th, was launched in 1992 by the Left-Handers Club, an organization based in the United Kingdom. Since then, Left-Handers Day has become a worldwide event and social media phenomenon. Around the world, approximately one in ten persons is left-handed. ...

    Read More
  • Peak Experiences

    Peak Experiences The American philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau roamed far and wide over the hills and mountains of his native Massachusetts and neighboring New Hampshire. In his masterwork, "Walden," Thoreau famously stated that we must "reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical ...

    Read More
  • Dynamic Warm-ups

    In a common occurrence, you bend over to pick up the pencil you inadvertently dropped on the floor. Or you bend over to pick up the soap bar that has slipped through your fingers in the shower. Or you bend over to lift a bag of groceries out of your automobile trunk. These are all daily events. But on ...

    Read More
  • Summer Sports

    Summer Sports In the summertime, everyone's thoughts turn to the outdoors. We want to get out in the sun and have some fun. Some people do exercise outdoors, such as running, walking, and biking, all year long regardless of the weather.1 For others, summer's warmer temperatures make activity outside ...

    Read More

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up for more articles