Disc Problems and Chiropractic Care

The topic for December is disc problems

One question I am often asked is by patients with disc problems is….

“My leg hurts but you are telling me it’s coming from my back?”

Disc problems that commonly occur in the neck (cervical) or low back (lumbar) part of the spine can cause pain, numbness, pins and needles and weakness in the arm or the leg. (Arm problems if the neck is involved and leg problems if the back is involved).

This is due to how the disc bulges and irritates the nearby nerve. Click here to see a brilliant animation of how this happens.

Depending on which nerve is irritated different muscles, areas of skin and
reflexes are affected. As shown by the pictures below. The different colours in this picture relate to the areas affected by different disc injuries.

Cx disc

http://www.cleaverspine.com/radiculopathy.htm

Lx disc

http://www.backpain-guide.com/Spine_Information/Sciatica.html

Usually people with disc problems have pain in just one leg or arm because the disc tends to bulge more to one side than the other. If the disc bulges in the middle of then it can cause pain, numbness and weakness in both arms or in both legs depending on which area of the spine the disc bulge takes place.

Sometimes the leg or arm pain can be so bad that you do not feel any pain in your back and neck but as you get better the pain moves closer to the source of the problem. So for instance if it is a disc in your neck then the pain moves from arm towards the neck. Sometimes the pain can feel worse or actually be worse as it ‘centralises’ towards the neck but this is often a sign of improvement as I tend to say to patients at this point “this may not feel like it is getting better but it is often a sign that the disc problem is improving”

So how can Chiropractic help disc problems?

Chiropractors can help relieve pressure on the disc by improving the movement of the joints in the spine, they can also relax the surrounding muscles and give you advice on ways to help yourself at home and as you improve give you exercises, postural and lifestyle advice.

If you think you may be suffering from a disc problem or know someone else that is then please contact me for more information on 01635 791 301  or via email rosie@totalchiro.co.uk or you can book appointments online.

Rosie Piercy MChiro DC
Chiropractor

Total Chiropractic