There are many different types of progressions of disc injuries. All of which can happen anywhere from the top of the neck all the way down to the bottom of the lower back. Here are some descriptions of types of disc injuries. They can all occur from sudden trauma like a car accident, or from slow accumulated stress over a lifetime. We know the later as wear and tear.
Internal Disc Derangement
This is the very beginning of your discs in your spine breaking down. The disc that lies in between each vertebrae in your spine is made up of a center or nucleus that is soft and similar in consistency to toothpaste. That nucleus is surrounded by harder, more durable cartilaginous rings.
Over time and over a lifetime of sitting, standing, being active, and everything life entails, these discs start to become dehydrated and more brittle with every decade of life. As we age the outer part of the disc starts to experience some microtears in it.
This normally presents as a stiff back or neck one morning when you wake up and roll out of bed. It typically subsides in 2 to 8 days, and you go back to life as you knew it with no back pain or neck pain.
This is a more severe form of the above degenerative injury. As the outer part of the disc experiences more and more tears, the cartilaginous outside weakens and this toothpaste-like center starts to push the outer wall out, causing a bulge.
These types of injuries can be asymptomatic in nature. On the other hand, if the bulge is big enough and in the right area it can compress the spinal cord or nerve roots causing burning, tingling, or numbness into other parts of the body such as the arms, hand, thighs, legs, and/or feet.
This is when the nucleus pierces the outer cartilaginous structure of the disc. This is a very severe problem and you need to take a proactive approach to controlling how much you load these discs for the remainder of your life.
Don’t feel like doing that? That’s ok, every time you do too much or something puts excess load on that disc your body will remind you with more and more pain. Eventually, this will lead to chronic pain and limitations in your ability to function throughout your day.
It’s very important to seek a professional Elma Chiropractor’s help if you have disc problems. This will keep it from getting worse. Be smart and enjoy your later years in life instead of mistreating your body and being in a miserable amount of pain that only surgery can help minimize down the road.