Spinal Disc Injury Care from Your Santa Barbara Chiropractor
Injured spinal discs are a painful, possibly even debilitating problem. When the cartilaginous discs that cushion your vertebrae become damaged or dislocated, they can cause nerve root impingement and nerve dysfunction while also emitting agonizing nerve signals of their own. If you're suffering from an injured spinal disc, you need help ASAP -- and your Santa Barbara chiropractor at Advanced Chiropractic Group can provide it.
When you think about how many shocks (large and small) the spinal column must absorb each day, you can see why it's so important to have structures between the vertebrae that absorb those shocks. A spinal disc consists of two layers -- a gelatinous, water-filled interior known as as the nucleus propolsus surrounded by a resilient casing of cartilage called the annulus fibrosus. This dual-layer arrangement lets the disc act as a sturdy, dependable cushion while maintaining the correct degree of space between the vertebrae.
Understanding Spinal Disc Injuries
Disc problems can produce pain and other alarming symptoms. For instance, if an auto accident injury, sports injury or unfortunate lifting mishap at work throws the spine out of alignment, spinal discs may get pushed out of their normal position and herniate. Herniation is a rip in the annulus fibrosus which can often allow the nucleus propolsus to jut out and press on nearby nerve roots. This impingement can cause the sharp pain, tingling sensations, weakness and numbness in the extremities associated with sciatica or cervical radiculopathy. Even if the inner material doesn't protrude, the tear in the cartilage can cause severe pain from the many nerves in the annulus fibrosus.
Disc injuries don't have to be caused by acute trauma. Age-related water loss in the disc may cause it to flatten and bulge outward, creating a risk of herniation. The bulge itself may cause painful nerve impingement while also straining the facet joints that connect the vertebrae.
How Your Santa Barbara Chiropractor Treats Your Injury
Any of our chiropractors at Santa Barbara's Advanced Chiropractic Group can provide conservative treatment techniques to relieve your symptoms without drugs, helping your disc injury heal safely and without surgery. We can employ both traditional manual spinal adjustments and gentle, precise instrument-based methods such as the Activator Technique and Impulse IQ. By normalizing your vertebral joints and guiding herniated or bulging discs back into position, we can relieve both nerve pain and facet joint pain. The relocated disc also has an opportunity to heal normally.
Other natural healing modalities may also be prescribed by your Santa Barbara chiropractor as part of an integrated treatment plan. For instance, massage therapy can loosen tight muscles to enhance adjustments' effects, while physical therapy can help you reinforce your spinal support to protect your corrected alignment.