Treatment of Disc Conditions by Our Chiropractors in Tracy
The spinal column is far more than just a stack of vertebrae -- its complexities include the cartilaginous discs that provide cushion and support between those vertebrae. Injury or degeneration of one of these discs can produce a variety of unpleasant symptoms, from age-related aches and pains to major loss of physical function in the most severe cases. That's when you need the experts at Valley Chiropractic. Our chiropractors in Tracy, Mountain House and Manteca can diagnose and treat disc conditions through conservative methods, sparing you from the trauma of invasive surgery.
Understanding Disc Problems
Disc problems can be somewhat confusing to understand, because people often misuse the various terms that describe them. A "slipped disc" is in fact a herniated disc, while a bulging disc and a herniated disc are two different (but often related) conditions. To clarify:
Bulging disc - A bulging disc is one that has gradually lost its height. Discs consist of a gelatinous fluid (the nucleus pulposus) contained by tough outer layer of cartilage (the annulus fibrosus). The gelatinous fluid not only cushions the vertebrae, but it also gives a disc its height. Age-related water loss can cause the disc to shrink or flatten until it bulges out of the spinal column. The resulting compression of the spinal column can create spinal joint inflammation and make you more vulnerable to spinal arthritis, while also altering your alignment to place major muscle groups under strain.
Herniated disc - A herniated disc is the protrusion of some of the nucleus pulposus through the annulus fibrosus. A bulging disc under sufficient stress can develop small tears that allow for such herniation. Auto accidents, sports injuries and other traumatic events can also herniate discs. The inflammatory substances in the nucleus pulposus can irritate nearby nerve tissue. The protrusion itself can pinch nerve roots, producing extremity pain, tingling, numbness and loss of muscle function.
Chiropractic Care, Massage, Physiotherapy and Other Forms of Pain Management
If you've heard about people who underwent major spinal surgery to correct their disc problems, rest assured that most disc symptoms can be relieved or managed through non-surgical means. Our chiropractors in Tracy can evaluate your spine, medical history and other factors to determine exactly where and how the disc is misbehaving. We can then offer a combination of natural pain management modalities such as:
• Chiropractic care to relieve joint misalignment and inflammation caused by bulging discs
• Flexion distraction therapy, which can draw herniated discs back into their normal space and help rehydrate bulging discs
• Massage therapy and physiotherapy to relieve muscle strain related to spinal imbalances
• Corrective exercises to strengthen the muscles that promote healthy spinal alignment, reducing your vulnerability to disc compression