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   About the home > Leisure > Back Disc
Back Disc

Back disc conditions can be very serious, and can lead to disability and severe pain. This article will discuss what a back disc is, why it can be so difficult to work with, and the most common symptoms and treatments available for these conditions.

The discs of the spine are located between each set of bones in the spine, and serve two very important functions. First of all, they are cushions between the bones, absorbing shock with each movement you make. This function is vital, because if they weren't absorbing shock, you would experience pain with every movement of your back, simply because the bones of the spine would then have to absorb the shock of the movement.

The second function is that they hold the bones of the spine together. This provides stability and strength to the spine, while still providing enough flexibility for movement.

One thing that is very important for us to discuss is how each back disc is put together. There are two main parts of a back disc - a strong outer covering called the Annulus, and a soft jelly centre called the Nucleus.

If you were to look at where the discs are located, you would see that the nerves of the spine are directly located behind each disc. The nerves control everything in the body, and their location near each back disc is what makes these conditions so serious (which we'll talk about in just a minute).

The major concern with the spinal discs is that they do not have a lot of blood vessels going to them, which limits the amount of blood flow they have going to them. Because your blood contains oxygen and nutrients for healing, this slows the healing process dramatically, and often back disc problems can take quite a long time to heal because of this.

With all of this in mind, let's now discuss the most common conditions that can occur with a back disc. The most common condition that can occur is a bulging or a herniated disc.

In this case, the strong outer covering of the disc will tear, and the jelly in the centre starts to push through the damaged area of the disc. This causes the disc to 'bulge' where the disc is damaged.

Do you remember how we mentioned earlier that the nerves of the spine are located right behind each disc? Well, when a disc bulges, pressure is applied to these nerves, which can lead to very serious complications.

The other back disc condition that is very common is Degenerative Disc Disease (which is actually just a form of arthritis in the spine). With this condition, the jelly in the centre of the disc starts to dehydrate (it loses its water content). This causes the affected disc to become shorter, which means that the disc is not able to absorb shock as effectively as it normally does.

This can also cause pressure to the nerves, because if a disc shortens, the space where the nerve exits the spine will become shorter, which adds pressure to the affected nerve.

In both of these cases, the symptoms can be very similar, simply because the same nerves will be affected.

For example, if you develop a problem with a back disc in the cervical region of the spine (neck), it is very common to experience neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, arm and hand pain, numbness, burning, and weakness in those same areas, as well as thyroid problems (which can lead to weight issues) and chest pains.

Although most people would think that a problem in the neck would only cause neck pain, you can see that it's actually common for the pain to travel, simply because of how the nerves of the neck travel.

In the thoracic region (middle back area, between the shoulder blades), you may experience pain in that region, pain travelling around the rib cage, chest pains, heart palpitations (feeling like your heart is beating fast in your chest), headaches, and digestive problems (such as indigestion or gall stones).

A back disc problem in the lumbar region (low back) can lead to low back pain, pain, burning, or numbness travelling down the leg, the same sensations in the feet, bowel and bladder problems(such as constipation, diarrhoea, inability to hold your bladder), and sexual organ dysfunction.

So, if you have a disc condition, what can you do about it? Most doctors would typically recommend medications (usually pain relievers and muscle relaxers), as well as physical therapy and injections (such as cortisone and epidurals).

It's very rare for a doctor to recommend surgery for these conditions, simply because the success rate for surgery is very low with these conditions. In almost every case, your doctor will try every other option first, and will only recommend surgery as a last resort.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. In particular, if you are losing the ability to control your bowel or bladder, or if you are losing considerable strength in your arms or legs, surgery may be your only option. Even with these symptoms, though, most doctors will still encourage you to try more conservative treatments first.

There are also some very good alternatives to traditional medical treatments. In particular, chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture are often utilized for relief also. These treatment methods often have higher success rates than traditional treatments.

If you would like to learn more about the most successful treatments for a back disc condition, please visit http://www.healyourbulgingdisc.com.

About the author:
Dr. Ron Daulton, Jr. is a chiropractor, a national speaker, and author. Visit http://www.HealYourBulgingDisc.com for more info.
Dr. Ron Daulton, Jr
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