Cervical Disc Herniation
A disc herniation is one of the most common types of injury that contributes to debilitating neck and arm pain. A herniated disc is commonly referred to as a pinched nerve. The spine is made up of a series of vertebrae-disc-vertebrae segments with the disc generally acting to provide some cushion and maintain alignment of the joints. Each disc is made up of a gel-like center with fibrous outer rings. The discs are similar to a ballon filled with air, if one side is squeezed, the air moves to the other side. When the discs are compressed under high load (like lifting) or compressed frequently (such as sitting all day) the fibrous rings breakdown leading to a ballooning of the disc from its original position causing compression of the nerve root or the spinal cord. The ballooning of the disc is a condition known as a disc bulge. If the compression continues it can cause tears in the fibrous rings and the gel-like substance will leak out of the disc into the spinal canal. This leaking is a more serious condition called a disc herniation. When the gel-like substance is leaking out of the disc it causes massive inflammation and compression of the nerve root. The compression or irritation of the nerve root often leads to local neck and arm pain, and at times can refer to pain in between the shoulder blades. The massive inflammation and compression of the nerve root may lead to serious symptoms such as numbness, neck and arm weakness, and other sensation changes.
Disc herniation pain is most commonly treated with Flexion Distraction therapy or spinal distraction. Our Boulder chiropractors use a special table designed specifically to decompress the spine and take the pressure off of the cervical disc helping to decrease compression of the irritated nerve. By taking the pressure off of the nerve in the neck, your neck pain and arm symptoms will decrease and the local neck pain will dissipate. The therapy is usually coupled with using Active Release Technique (ART) on the muscles of the head, neck, shoulders, arm and upper back to further decrease the compression on the pinched nerve. We also integrate a combination of chiropractic care, and physical therapy, that will help get you out of pain and back to enjoying the activities you love-faster. Typical disc herniation relief can be seen in just a few visits.
Boulder Chiropractors Dr. Alyx Brown and Dr. Steve Brown, have treated many cases of disc herniation injuries with an extremely high success rate. Click here to make an appointment to get low back pain relief now.