Thank you for joining me again this evening for our nightly podcasts. I perform these podcasts in the hopes that you will be able to education yourself on the topics discussed so you can make better informed medical decisions regarding your health in the future. I am doctor Harrison Campbell of Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office. Previously we discussed the anatomy of a disc herniation. Tonight, we will go further into the symptoms of a disc herniation.
To start, we will briefly overview the anatomy of the disc and what happens during a disc herniation. Recall that the disc is composed of two main parts. We have the outer shell called the annulus fibrosus and the inner core the nucleus pulposus. The outer shell is composed of a tough fibrous material known as fibrocartilage. This allows the disc to be strong and flexible at the same time. The inner core is a jelly like material which nourishes the disc and provides shock absorption for the spine.
Now the outer shell is in a cross-weave pattern which makes the disc susceptible to injury when bending and twisting. During a disc herniation some or all of the outer shell fibers are torn which weakens the wall. The pressure of the body weight and gravity on the jelly like core push outwards onto the shell. This pressure on a weakened shell creates an outpouching or bulge, which sugar land chiropractors know as a disc herniation.
The tearing of the outer shell fibers causes inflammation which generates pain. Additionally, there are nerve roots coming off the spinal cord sitting directly behind the intervertebral discs. The herniation and the inflammation can put pressure or impinge upon the nerve root. As sugar land chiropractors can tell you, nerve roots are sensitive. When irritated they will let you know that there is a problem. This is why the pain associated with a disc herniation is usually very severe. Often time you will hear people describe their pain using terms like burning or sharp stabbing pains, or even a bolt of lightening.
Now in our closing last podcast we briefly mention neuralgia. This is nerve pain which is what we are discussing here. Neuro is a prefix means nerve tissue. Algia as a suffix means pain. Therefore, the break down of neuralgia means nerve pain. For neuralgia in the low back most people will have heard the term sciatica. This condition as sugar land chiropractors know is caused when one or more of the nerve roots which form the sciatic nerve is impinged and irritated. The pain generated travels down the nerve which for the low back and sciatica is down the leg to the feet. Should there be a disc herniation in the arm creating neuralgia the pain would travel down an arm to the hand.
There is also local pain which is often over looked during the disc herniation. Remember, that there is tissue tearing in the disc which generates pain and inflammation. There can even be cases where the inner core leaks through the tears in the shell into the spinal canal in a process sugar land chiropractors call sequestration. The inner core gel is chemotoxic to the body. What this means is the body reacts when it comes into contact with this jelly like substance and creates an increased inflammatory response. This inflammatory response generates pain locally in the low back and should the inflammation impinge on the spinal cord, a nerve root, or the nerve itself there is also a neurological pain response in the form of neuralgia.
Now nerve pain, or neuralgia is a unique pain in that traditional pain medications do not target neurogenic pain. When sugar land chiropractors use the term neurogenic pain what we mean is pain results from a neurological origin, it’s a fancy way of saying the pain generated from neuralgia. Therefore when most people take over the counter analgesics such as Ibuprofen there is minimal effect on pain reduction. In fact it is not uncommon for most patient who see me regarding disc herniations to say they received no relief from taking those pain medications. The only thing which helps is findings a position which will be comfortable for a few minutes before they have to shift and get comfortable again, hopefully. Usually when suffering the pain of a disc herniation you are constantly shifting from one position to the other with minimal relief.
This shifting is a result of the physical presence of the disc herniation near the nerve root. When you have a disc herniation encroaching on the nerve root, instinctually you want position yourself to reduce your pain levels as much as possible. This is a process sugar land chiropractors call antalgia. Now antalgia is a term to describe a patient positioning their body unconsciously to alleviate pain. It is most noticeable in low back disc herniations. Have you ever seen someone walking while leaned slightly forward and off to one side? Or perhaps you have seen someone who sits but is leaning off in one direction? In the case of disc herniations they are leaning that way to physically create as much space between the disc herniation and the nerve root. The patient does not do this knowing this is what they are doing, but it is why they are performing these actions.
Now unfortunately we are out of time and will have to discuss mechanisms to create disc herniations in another podcast so lets jump to the outro.
Thank you for joining me again this evening for another great podcast. I hope you enjoyed the discussion on the symptoms of intervertebral disc herniations. As always should you or someone you know require a sugar land chiropractors services or simply have more questions on what was discussed please call Restoration Health today. We would love to schedule you an appointment and get you on the path to better health today. Thank you once again for joining us. Have a good night.