Hey, I’m Dr. Stephanie, your chiropractor for disc injuries with Noble Choice Chiropractic right here in Sun Prairie, WI. Talking today about disc herniations, disc bulges, everything disc related, but really more of an anatomy lesson.
A lot of people have heard about disc injuries but are not really sure how they happen. And I’m a visual person. So I just wanted to put my artistic skills to the test today with playdough. So I can demonstrate a little bit easier for you to understand what it is I’m talking about, or what anybody’s talking about, when they talk about discs.
So for those of you who don’t know, or maybe you just need a little bit of reminder, the disc is the jelly like substance that’s between these two vertebrae and they’re all throughout your spine. You know, they’re everywhere in your body as well. You have more discs rather than just in your spine. But the purpose of them is to be able to absorb shock coming into the spine. And to avoid, you know, provide support and pushing.
So I’m going to show you the normal anatomy of a disc. So you can kind of see my recreation if you’ve ever seen nailed it. That’s what I feel like right now. So you can see here we’ve got the what’s called the nucleus pulposus and then around here and the annual fibers. So these are two different substances. This is more jelly like and these are more taut fibers I guess I would say.
So this is my rendition here. So normal discs should look like this, pretty even throughout. So nucleus and then fibers here on the outside.
Alright, normal. Degeneration. So whether that’s occurring from repetitive action, trauma, age, you can see how the disk begins to thin out a little bit so see it’s elongated a little bit. But I still have the annual fibers coming around this disc here. So that’s kind of stage one of disc degeneration, or herniation.
Stage two, you can see here we have what’s called a prolapse. So what happens is, in a normal disk, those fibers around the outside are nice and tough. But when let’s say some sort of injury, some sort of trauma or even degeneration occurs, those fibers around here begin to thin out.
Where that thinning area is, is more susceptible to having a disc bulge out. So here you can see in my prolapsed disc, that it’s not perfectly circular anymore and that the disc is beginning to move outward towards these fibers. It’s still inside the fibers there.
The problem with this is when this moves, what it’s doing is it’s creating pressure on the spinal canal. And then in turn the spinal nerves and that’s when you start to have symptoms. So whether that’s, you know, pain going on your legs could also be upper body, arms, fingers, all of that.
That brings me to my next one, which is extrusion. So you can see here, we’ve moved past the prolapse. This nucleus is still moving out and it’s actually burst through these annual fibers here. So you’ve got a chunk of it coming out. Again, this can be very painful. This is pressing on the spinal canal and the spinal nerves. So you’ll, you’ll feel it if you’ve got this.
The last stage is actually when this chunk comes right off. That’s called a sequestered herniation. Again, sometimes those are the more serious ones that require surgery to heal.
In general. A lot of disc injuries can actually be healed just by time your body has the amazing ability to resolve dish discs back into itself. Chiropractic obviously helps that a lot just because keeping the joints moving, it helps relieve the pressure on that disc.
So there you have it. The anatomy of a disc as demonstrated by my kindergarten skills. Hope you enjoyed that brief lesson. And for us, the videos will make a little bit more sense after this. Thanks for tuning in.