Disc Herniations – Condition of the month

Mar 6, 2020

Category: Chiropractic Northcote

This month’s topic for condition of the month is disc herniations. In order to know what a herniated disc is, it’s important to understand the anatomy of the discs in relation to the spine.

Between each vertebra in our spine comprises of small, tough pillow like tissue called intervertebrate discs (IVD). These discs are made up of a strong outer fibrosus tissue called the annulus fibrosus and an inner gel-like material called nucleus pulposus. The IVD act as shock absorbers between each vertebra in the spine.

When there is unbalanced mechanical pressures building up in the IVD, the annulus either bulges or tears which causes the nucleus to push through. This is also commonly referred to as a disc bulge or a slipped disc. The key difference between a disc bulge and a disc herniation is a disc bulge only affects the annulus, while a disc herniation affects the annulus and nucleus.

There are various types of disc herniations.
  1. Disc protrusion (disc bulge) = the annulus is intact, but bulges when under pressure.
  2. Disc prolapse (disc herniation) = the anulus is partially intact, but nucleus is pushing through annulus when it’s under pressure.
  3.  Disc extrusion (disc herniation) = the nucleus squeezes through a weakness or tear in the annulus, but it’s still connected to the disc.
  4. Disc Sequestration (disc herniation) = the nucleus not only squeezes through the torn annulus, but it’s detached from the disc.

In the next post, we’ve cover what signs and symptoms of a disc herniation. Be sure to not take this as advice as this is for your information. Please seek out a Chiropractor for further advice.