The vertebral disc in the spine is an interesting and unique structure. There are a total of twenty-three vertebral discs in the spinal column that all help act as shock absorbers in the spine. They are tough ligaments that hold the vertebrae of the spine together, and they also allow for slight mobility in the spine. With physical activity, daily routine, injuries, and age the spine may get weaker and lead to pain and symptoms. If the injury is caused in the upper part of the spine pain in the neck, arms, and hands, and shoulders can occur. When the injury is in the lower part of the spine it can lead to lower back pain, hip pain, leg pain, and other symptoms of numbness or weakness. Spinal disc problems are misunderstood for a number of reason such as where the pain is coming from and what it’s caused by. Sometimes the most difficult cases are not due to subluxation in the vertebrae but to subluxation of the disks. A chiropractor can easily locate and adjust a subluxated disk. In most cases, even a herniated or ruptured disk can heal with simple adjustment and manipulation of the spine. Most heal spontaneously.
When a disk is subluxated the normally soft connective tissues surrounding it transforms into taut bands. These band-like tissues help anchor and stabilize the disk to protect it from further injury and often reach many inches away. With chiropractic, carefully adjusting these bands can often produce healing results. Another way to heal is to stay hydrated. Over time, spinal discs dehydrate and become stiffer. Severely dried out disks start to weaken and compress on itself. Drinking at least one cup of water every hour or so can help restore life back into the spine. At birth, approximately 80 percent of the disc is composed of water. In order for the disc to function properly, it must be well hydrated.