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You might easily go your whole life without ever thinking about those fluid-filled cartilaginous discs sandwiched between the vertebrae of your spinal column -- until one of those discs decides to herniate. Herniated discs can cause a variety of painful, disabling symptoms and problems, from odd sensations in your extremities to frightening loss of muscular control. Unfortunately, the thought of having surgery to remove or fuse spinal components is pretty frightening in its own right. But you'll be relieved to know that you can get your herniated disc treated safely and naturally here at Oxford Rehabilitation Center.
Your spine is subjected to countless jolts and bumps in the course of your everyday activities. To cushion all these impacts and prevent painful bone-on-bone friction, small pads called discs occupy the spaces between vertebrae. These discs consist of a gelatinous interior substance, the nucleus polposus, which is encased in a tough outer covering of cartilage called the annulus fibrosis. Discs also serve as spacers, maintaining just the right distance between discs for the spinal facet joints to articulate the spine without undue strain.
This delicate balance can be thrown into jeopardy if a weakness develops in the annulus fibrosis. A bulge or a hernia in the disc may form, and the weak spot may even rupture so that the nucleus pulposus pokes out through the tear. This is bad news for neighboring nerve tissues. Not only does the disc material contain inflammatory substances that irritate the nerves, but the pressure against the nerve tissue can interfere with nerve function. Symptoms of a herniated disc include severe pain at the point of damage as well as referred pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and tingling sensations in an arm or leg.
A herniated disc can occur suddenly as the result of an acute injury such as an auto accident. But it can also be due to longstanding stresses related to vertebral misalignment and degenerative disc conditions. For example, aging discs are known to lose fluid content; this makes them bulge outward and puts more strain on the disc casing.
Come to our Philadelphia clinic for non-surgical management of your herniated disc. Our chiropractor can administer spinal adjustments that correct alignment errors, relieving pressure on the disc while also helping to decompress nerve tissue. Physical therapy can help you regain any strength lost to nerve dysfunction. Our physical therapy programs can also build your back or neck muscles, making a normal, straight posture easier to maintain. You may even benefit from our acupuncture services, which provide a drug-free means of pain relief.
Herniated discs may be a painful problem, but you don't have let them determine your enjoyment of life. Do the right things for your discs and call 215-725-2000 for an appointment with our Philadelphia chiropractor!