It has been my experience that many people assume that if that have acute low back pain and especially if they have sciatica that they must have a “slipped disc”. This is most certainly not always the case. Clearly, though, disc problems can arise. Let me explain.
Firstly discs don’t slip. A spinal disc is like a cushion between the front parts, or bodies, of the vertebrae. Just like a cushion they can become misshapen and a bulge can form pressing onto the nerve (a disc bulge). Chiropractic can often help with such causes of sciatica. Specific adjustments of the spine can help to reduce inflammation in the area which reduces pressure on nerves, reducing pain and decreasing muscle spasm.
Discs can also rupture; this is where there is a tear in the lining of the disc and the gel-like substance in the middle of the disc gets squeezed out (rather like a jam doughnut being squeezed). When this happens there is usually no alternative but to operate to remove the protrusion. Surgery can be very useful in these cases, but doesn’t it make sense to nip spinal problems when they’re small rather than wait till your disc “blows” when you could need months off work?