You hear a lot about disc problems, but sometimes it’s hard to make sense of it all. The human disc has a very important and difficult role to play. The disc sits between each vertebrae to create the spinal column; it surrounds and protects the spinal cord and the pairs of nerves that branch off the cord and exit the spine between the vertebrae. The disc has to be both tough and supple. The disc has to be strong and hold the vertebra together but allow them to move as we bend.
Each disc has two parts. A gel-like substance in the middle called the nucleus and a tough fibrous outer layer called the annulus fibrosis which is made up of multiple layers laid down in concentric rings. Damage to those rings can allow the disc to bulge and eventually the nucleus can rupture through the rings like the jelly squeezing out of a doughnut. The bulging or ruptured disc can put pressure on the spinal nerves and cause pain, numbness, tingling, and even muscle weakness. If the bad disc is in the neck, the pain, numbness, or weakness will be in a specific pattern in the arm; but if the bad disc is in the low back then the pain and other symptoms will follow a specific pattern in the leg.
Short Chiropractic has different treatments available to treat these disc conditions
Flexion-Distraction technique utilizes a specially designed table to simultaneously flex the spine while distraction forces are applied literally creating a vacuum inside the disc. Federally funded research has proven this happens as well as showing that it increases the size of the opening for the spinal cord and nerves to pass through without being pinched! This treatment can reduce or resolve bulging or ruptured disc and has saved hundreds of our patients from surgery.
Computerized decompression therapy can be used for especially challenging conditions in the neck or back. It is similar to old fashion traction but with a few key differences. The computerized control allows us to customize the traction forces and lets your doctor prescribe alternating pull and rest cycles with varying weights and times depending on your specific needs. This creates a "pumping" mechanism on your spine. The computer allows for the gradual increase and decrease in traction weight so your muscles don't fight against it. This makes it much more comfortable for patients. In fact, patients often fall asleep during treatment! The table used for treatment is even designed to separate as the traction is applied which allows more effective treatment with lower weight than traction used to require.
But, the equipment is only as good as the person in control of it. We have been trained and certified as Kennedy Decompression Practitioners and have over a decade of experience with this equipment.