When discussing spinal disc conditions, there are essentially two types of problems that can occur. The first is when an injury occurs to the wall of the disc and it begins to bulge. The second is when the disc begins to dehydrate and starts to flatten and deteriorate.
Your spine is made up of 24 bones (called vertebrae) that are stacked on top of each other. Between each set of bones is a disc. The discs of your spine are very important because they essentially act as shock absorbers in order to protect the bones.
You will notice that the disc is made up of a strong outer covering called the Annulus Fibrosus and a softer, jelly–like center called the Nucleus Pulposus. The outer covering gives the disc strength, while the softer center is what allows it to act as a cushion, absorbing shock whenever forces are applied to your spine.
Spinal disc conditions tend to be really difficult to heal because the discs do not receive a very good blood supply. The body generally depends on good blood flow to transport nutrients and oxygen to damaged areas for faster healing.
Bulging Disc (which is also known as a Protruding Disc or a Slipped Disc), a Herniated Disc (which is also known as a Disc Prolapse), a Ruptured Disc and Degenerative Disc Disease are all spinal conditions that can be extremely painful, and in some cases, debilitating. Regardless of what the disc problem is called, it is most important for the patient to understand if the pain is being caused within the disc itself, or if it is pain along the nerve root. An accurate diagnosis of the cause of the patient’s pain is needed to determine the appropriate treatment options.
If you are experiencing back, leg, or even arm pain, it could be related to a disc problem. Make an appointment today with Dr. Wesley Johnson. He can diagnose your problem and work with you to devise the best treatment plan for your unique case.