What do discs in your back hate?
As a Chiropractor in Caledonia I see many patients who have injured the discs in their low backs, often times experiencing very painful back pain and sciatica pain. In this post I cover what a disc is, how Chiropractic can help disc injuries, and how to avoid injuring the discs in your back.
But first…. What do discs hate?
Repetitive bending and prolonged sitting!
(Keep reading more and watch the video to learn why discs hate repetitive pressure and constant poor pressure – or ask Dr. Peever)
What is a disc?
The discs in your back are between the vertebrae (back bones) and all movement between the bones. I sometimes describe them as jelly donuts, as the fluid in the disc can get squished out similarly to a jelly doughnut. When this happens it is called a disc herniation and can be very painful.
What can you do about injured Discs? Can a Chiropractor help?
Chiropractors work with people who are suffering with disc herniations often to help their bodies recover. They do this by helping the patient create the best position of the spine for the disc to heal, often times by adjusting the spine into a proper alignment.
Here is a great article showing a person recovering from a severe disc injury with the help of specific chiropractic adjustments.
Testimonial from one of our Caledonia Chiropractic patients who suffered from multiple disc herniations and was unable to weight bear or work:
“Pain, mobility, daily functions, mood, hope, pain free. These are all things we take for granted. Regular medicines help to get through the critical stages of illness. We must also work on the cause behind the problem. My Chiropractor has taken me from traditional medicine towards medicine free. Hope and optimism were given back to me.” – R.KM.
Enjoy this testimonials from our Caledonia patient. However, a result for one patient may not be typical of all patients. Our aim is to help you have an excellent experience at our Caledonia office and to help you reach your health goals.
What if my disc herniation is creating sciatica pain down my leg?
The following are excerpts from a research study of Chiropractic manipulation used for helping disc herniation patients. The study had 102 patients who had disc herniation injuries in their low backs and were suffering from sciatica.
“Acute back pain and sciatica are major sources of disability, with impairment of daily living activities.”
“Spinal manipulation is widely used in the treatment of low back pain and sciatica.”
“Active manipulations have more effect than simulated manipulations on pain relief for acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion.” –The Chiropractic adjustment had a good pain relieving effect for patients who had sciatica due to a disc injury in their low back.
“At the end of follow-up a significant difference was present between active and simulated manipulations on the percentage of cases becoming pain-free (local pain 28% vs. 6%; radiating pain 55% vs. 20%).” – The patients who were manipulated by the Chiropractor had less local pain and less radiating pain.
“Patients receiving active manipulations enjoyed significantly greater relief of local and radiating acute low back pain, spent fewer days with moderate-to-severe pain, and consumed fewer drugs for the control of pain.”
The authors from this study concluded that Chiropractic spinal manipulations may relieve acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion. We see this often in our Chiropractic clinic in Caledonia. Patients whose spines are well adjusted have a greater ability to adapt and heal to back injuries such as sciatica and disc herniations.
What if I want to avoid a disc injury in the future?
Ideally, we help people avoid injuring their backs. This requires listening to your body and it does require effort. Proper maintenance can go a long way. I go through some of the things that discs hate in this presentation I did for the students at CDI College. Take a look and don’t hesitate to contact us at the office about discs in your back.
Here is a video of Dr. Callum Peever presenting on discs:
Transcript of Dr. Peever’s talk on low back discs
Continued from talk to CDI College 2014
Do you know what discs hate?
Prolonged sitting and repetitive bending.
The discs in the back are between the bones. They are like jelly donuts in that they have fluid in them that can shoot out, which is called a herniation. Some people will describe it as a slipped disc. This pressure from the disc on the nerves is very painful and can completely disable you. Lots of people describe this as sciatica as the disc can put pressure on the nerves that make up the Sciatic Nerve.
Sitting still really bothers the disc because the disc needs to move in order to get fluids. If you don’t move it doesn’t get fluids. If you slouch for a long time the disc gets stuck with old ugly jelly.
How do we minimize bad jelly in the spine?
Movement. The more movement that we have through our postures throughout the day, the more often we stand up and down, less injury will come to that disc.
If you have ever had this injury before, you have to do all that you can in the world to keep that disc as strong as possible or else you may be on a cruise ship to the nursing home.
What is the most amount of time that you can sit still before the problem happens?
Dr Peever – Who has kids? How long can they sit still? Not very long. We learn how to sit still at school, to stop fidgeting. Intuitively, innately, we want to move around and shift. If you can move every 5-10 minutes it will be better for you. Sometimes your job responsibilities can prevent you from moving around so that’s why we need to know ways that we can minimize the impact that these physical stressors have on our body’s health. Chiropractic is one of those ways to reduce the impact that stress has on your body.
Chiropractic can make sure that those discs are moving as well as possible when you see us. Movement and walking and dancing are great. If you are stuck sitting all day you need to have strategies to minimize the negative health impact of prolonged sitting. Even shifting in the chair will be helpful. A chair that is not too comfortable will cause you to keep shifting your postures all day. Who has seen those exercise balls? It is not comfortable, but it gets you to move all day. Moving all day is better than the comfort of sitting still all day.
Question- isn’t that hard?
Dr. Peever- It will be harder. It won’t be easier. All the stuff I am teaching you isn’t easier but it is better for you to live towards a longer, more active career. That’s a tough thing to grasp. There is much easier ways to live. But taking care of your spine, your nerve system, your brain takes effort. You have to try to stay healthy.
Dr. Callum Peever – Chiropractor in Caledonia at Caledonia Family Chiropractic