Disc Bulge

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

Disc Bulge is 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 first picture represents a normal motion segment of the spine. There are two bones with no bulging disc or arthritic changes in between. The nerve has plenty of room to leave the spinal cord and communicate with the body as it should.
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).

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

Chiropractic Adjustments…

to properly align the structures and reduce the abnormal pressure on the disc that caused the problem.

Spinal Decomression Therapy…

therapy to alleviate the disc bulge by creating a negative pressure on the disc space so that the nucleus pulposis can migrate back to its normal position.

Gentle stretching…

once the acute phase of the injury is over and working into a home strengthening program to avoid future problems.

Medications can be prescribed…

by your medical doctor for short term relief of inflammation. We work with your medical doctor to assure that you get the fastest relief possible.

Home Inversion Therapy…

is a great way to help with the pain of a disc bulge. I like to recommend that patients who use spinal decompression therapy use inversion therapy at home while using decompression in the office and after decompression therapy is completed.

I recommend the Teeter Brand Inversion System because it has a long track record of safety and effectiveness.