Recovering quickly from a disc injury can be crucial towards maintaining your overall well being.
Dr. Buerker is always happy to work with you and your medical providers or refer if necessary. Please keep in mind not all disc injuries require surgery. The physiology of a disc can be related to a tire on a car. The outer shell is called the annulus fibrosis, a tight band thinner in the back than in the front, and a center liquid filled sac called the nucleus pulposus. As you age the liquid content of the nucleus has a tendency to dry up. Also, the annulus deteriorates causing fissures (channels) within itself enabling the two disc areas to intermingle eventually becoming nearly indistinguishable. This is one of the reasons we lose height as we grow older. It is also referred to as degenerative disc disease. This breakdown of disc material allows the disc to bulge outward. Although the terms disc bulge and disc herniation are often used interchangeably they are really two separate entities. You can imagine a cream filled cookie. If you squish it down in the middle you will see the cream center ooze out evenly around the cookie. This is a symmetric disc bulge and is the type seen with disc degeneration. When the inside of the disc bulges against the outside annulus but does not break through and there is no degeneration than it is termed a physiological disc bulge. If the bulge goes beyond the margins of the disc space and breaks through the outer lining it is termed a herniation. Discs usually bulge to the back on one side or the other since this is the thinner portion of the annulus. This accounts for the discomfort being on one side Uncommonly a piece of the bulged disc can break off and become a free floating fragment within the space surrounding the nerve. If this happens it is most often in the lumbar spine.
Working in conjunction with your medical specialist, a thorough examination performed in our office utilizing any and all diagnostic studies such as MRIs, X-rays, etc. can help us determine the best approach to treat the disc injury and any other areas affected by your disc injury. This may include, but is not limited to, chiropractic manipulation, exercises and life style modifications.
Our diagnosis and treatment is based on the history, symptoms, and physical examination of each and every patient we see. If you've experienced a disc injury we will work with you and any of your healthcare team to return you to optimum health as quickly as we can. Please contact us to schedule a consultation or send us an email with any questions you might need answered.