Let’s dive into herniated discs. Where do they come from, what causes them, and what’s the best thing you can do to get relief from the symptoms and the pain that come along with herniated discs? First of all, where did a herniated disc come from? Your body is supposed to have these three major curves in our spine, your neck, upper back, and lower back. Those curves are there to give your body some spring, some flex, some give, as gravity pushes down. It’s important because we have this big bowling ball that sits on top of this little neck. And then as we go down, we add more and more weight. Throughout our spine, we need to have good flex and good give.
Well, what we have found is most of the time the reason discs get herniated is because we lose some of the curve. Instead of having a nice smooth curve with a lot of bounce and a lot of give, we start to lose it. What happens is we get more of this when we lose the curve. Now in this situation, there’s no give in the curve. What has to give is the softest tissue in the area. And that case that would be the disc, the little cartilage pads that are lined up between each artery. As they get pushed and squished, there’s a little gel nucleus right here in the middle and that little gel is like a jelly donut. And what’ll happen is it’ll start to get compressed to the point that it’ll start to push out towards one side. It’s kind of like if you were to squish on the jelly donut, eventually part of the jelly is going to squish out towards one side.
And what that does is it creates the bulge or the herniation. It’s the same thing. To the point that it can actually even affect the nerves that come out there. Now if you have a misalignment in the spine and you lose the symmetry, then you get this going on. The disc will start to bulge, it’ll affect the nerves, oftentimes going down the arm. If it’s in the lower back, it can affect the nerves going down the leg, creating symptoms like sciatica, neuropathy, and stuff like that. Where that comes from, it always starts in the neck and the position of the head. One of the bones moves, it takes the head with it, and makes you lose the curve in your spine. So now, for example, a lot of times the head will be out in front of you. So now that pushes the disc back towards the back part of the spine, which is where the nerves come out, and that can create the radicular stuff: the pain in the arms and the hands, the carpal tunnel, elbow epicondylitis, tendinitis, and stuff like that.
If you have a herniated disc or if you have disc problems in your spine, the best thing to do is find an upper cervical chiropractor who specializes in the spine and correcting the cause of that herniated disc. Now taking medications. Yeah, it’ll mask the problem. Taking shots, stuff like that: it covers it up, but it doesn’t fix it. Matter of fact, it makes you not feel it, so you’d go and do things you shouldn’t to eventually create a bigger problem. Sometimes, if it ruptures, if it blows out into the spinal canal, the only thing you can do is cut that out surgically, and that should be the last resort.