There are two primary disc problems people suffer from – slipped discs and degenerative discs. A healthy disc serves as a shock absorber as well as a spacer for the vertebrae, allowingthe spine to bend and move normally and nerves to flow free of interference.
A “slipped disc” is a misnomer because discs do not actually slip…they herniate or bulge out from between the bones sometimes putting pressure on the spinal cord or adjacent nerve root. While this can sometimes be asymptomatic, the most common symptom is localized or radiating pain. By adjusting the spine and restoring normal alignment and function to the spine, a chiropractor can help reduce disc bulges and prevent needless surgery or dependency on pain medication.
A degenerative disc is a dehydrated disc. Discs are made mostly of cartilage and water. Normal motion of the spinal joints pumps hydration into the discs (a process called imbibition). When the motion of a spinal joint is diminished for a period of time such as when there is a misaligned vertebrae (subluxation), this pumping process is impaired. A healthy disc is a hydrated disc and an unhealthy disc is a dehydrated disc. Imagine a flexible wet sponge versus a dry brittle sponge. Which one is going to function better? By adjusting the spine and restoring normal alignment and mobility to the spine, a chiropractor can help to slow or prevent these types of degenerative changes.