We are not talking about LP’s, vinyls or even mini discs… This may be music to your ears but you have discs in your spine too.
The discs in our bodies are great, they are a series of flat, fluid filled gel-like discs, their main job is to aid movement and to provide stability in the spine. So every time we move forward, twist then these discs absorb some of that impact and also facilitate some of that movement, it’s not just joints that move!
There’s two parts to a disc a tough outer layer which is a series of fibres that helps to contain the second part of the disc, the inner gel like layer that is made up of a stonking 88% water. Also the disc makes up 25% of the overall height of the spine.
It’s essential that we keep these discs healthy by providing them with adequate water, good nutrition, and good movement/spinal function and minimise bad habits that could affect the health of discs. Surprisingly one of the key things to avoid is smoking as this can affect the chemistry of the disc itself and then ends up affecting the make up of the disc which can result in higher incidence of disc degeneration or even prolapse.
Disc problems can result in back pain, buttock and leg pain and in severe cases can even lead to changes in sensation or muscle strength in the leg. A lot of people think nothing can be done for degenerated discs, and although we can’t undo the degeneration that is there we really want to maximise the function that remains before it to deteriorates. Our job at Chiropractic Works is to restore spinal function as best as possible which is aimed at reducing pain and improving the symptoms and function of the spine.
✔ You got this!
- Keep mobile, movement is key for the spine.
- Drink plenty of water – keep those discs hydrated.
- Watch your sitting and driving position!
- See your Chiropractor!
✘ Not this!
- Any neurological change (loss or change in sensation/muscle strength) should always be thoroughly assessed.
- Cauda Equina Syndrome is a serious condition where the discs in the lower part of the spine compress the nerves and can cause permanent damage.
- If you have a change in baldder/ bowel habits or a loss of sensation in the genitals/saddle area seek immediate advice.