Slipped Discs: Where do they go?

Slipped discs: where do they go and how do chiropractors put them back in?

Patient’s often complain of a ‘slipped disc’ that’s causing their back pain. Unfortunately, this a big misconception as your discs are strongly attached to the vertebrae in your spine so they can’t actually slip anywhere! So what’s actually happening then?

A ‘slipped disc’ is in fact, a herniated disc. People often mistaken the disc to have ‘slipped’ because the gel-like material from the centre of the disc leaks out. The disc does not actually slip or move anywhere.

So why does my back feel ‘out’?

The gel that has leaked out can push on nerves and cause a lot of pain, which can also result in a twisted spine. As a result, you’ll feel like your back is ‘out’ because your body has naturally leaned away from where the gel is seeping out to avoid more pain.

Patients also feel like their back is ‘out’ because of stiffness in their back. They often find it difficult to move in certain directions and it may even be painful. This is the result of muscle spasms that accompany many back injuries. When injured, the surrounding low back muscles go into a tight spasm to protect your back. Fortunately, this is a normal part of the healing process.

Can chiropractors ‘put your disc back in’?

Since the disc hasn’t actually moved, there’s nothing to put back in! However, many people feel like something has been ‘put back in’ after a chiropractic adjustment because their spine is less stiff and spinal movement has been restored. The adjustment is an effective tool chiropractors use to immediately reduce pain and increase spinal movement.

Studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments combined with exercise is effective for low back pain. As a result, in addition to chiropractic adjustments, we also teach patients stretches and core exercises to give them the best outcome.