Healthy Living

Do Spinal Discs Truly Slip?

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Spinal or vertebral discs are shock absorbing pads between the bones of the spine (vertebrae). They are made of two distinct parts, an inner gel portion and a very tough outer fibrous tissue that adheres the bones above and below and contains the softer gel-like inner core.

The tough outer fibrous band can typically maintain its strength and durability when the vertebrae above and below are in good alignment and move through a full range of motion. However, long-term posture problems, movement restrictions in the spine and traumatic injuries, can all cause the outer portion to weaken, allowing the inner gel-like substance to bulge, ooze or empty into the space around the vertebrae. This is called a disc herniation. When a disc herniation occurs, the entire disc doesn’t slide out of place. The outer portion of the disc stays attached to the vertebra above and below, however, a thinner or small tear may occur in the outer band allowing the inner gel material to push out the side, giving the visual impression that the disc has slipped in one direction from the middle.

The goal of chiropractic care, whether through manual adjustments, spinal decompression or other techniques, is to restore the movement, correct the alignment and allow the disc to heal and repair itself.