From the desk of Dr. Bryan Schuetz, The Columbus Chiropractors at Capital City Chiropractic, Worthington, Ohio.

Disc Bulgeis very common cause for acute low back pain. A disc is a shock absorbing structure that is situated between two vertebrae in the spinal column. They are primary composed of collagen and water. The disc has two distinct regions that each perform a specific function in the spine. The annulus fibrosis is the outer portion of the disc. It is made up of several layers of collagen that are arranged in a pattern much like the inner metal fibers of a radial tire. This configuration gives strength to the disc structure. The inner portion of the disc is called the nucleus pulposis. The nucleus is much like a fluid filled marble that assists in movement of the spinal bones above and below the disc.

When there is an injury of the disc it causes a tearing of the annular fibers. This allows the nucleus pulposis to migrate towards the edge of the disc causing a bulge or herniation.

The normal disc is demonstrated above. It is contained within its normal border and the space where the nerve exits the spinal cord is intact (intervertebral foramina). 

When a bone is out of normal alignment and pressure is applied, it can cause the nucleus pulposis to herniate, creating a bulge. You can see the bulge in red as it encroaches on the spinal nerve (yellow). 

Conservative treatment of this type of problem in my office includes:

  • Chiropractic Adjustments 
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  • Ice to reduce inflammation
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  • Spinal Decomression Therapy
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  • Gentle stretching
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  • Medications can be prescribed 
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  • Home Inversion Therapy
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