The disc is like a jelly doughnut. It has a jelly center and a tighter outer ring. 80% of the disc is made up of water. When the disc bulges the integrity of the disc is still present but its like you push on a water balloon on one side and it sticks out on the other. A bulging disc can create pressure on an exiting nerve root or on the spinal cord itself.

A herniated disc or disc protrusion is where the jelly center has squirted past the outside ring. This means the disc has lost its integrity and no longer functions like a normal disc. The herniation can put pressure on either the spinal cord or the exiting nerve roots. Pressure on the spinal cord or exiting nerve roots from either a bulging disc or disc protrusion cannot only create pain, but loss or normal muscle strength. Many people have bulging and herniated discs and have no pain. The reason for this is the disc is not contacting the nerve or the spinal cord.

We utilize spinal decompression which is a traction device that gently stretches the spine in order to reduce the pressure on the nerve and joints. This is a comfortable treatment and works well with reducing pain. If there is not a positive response to the decompression therapy within 30 days of treatment we refer out for additional consultation to a medical practitioner. Muscle strength and loss of reflex, or altered sensation are all signs that need to be monitored during conservative treatment.

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