What are slipped disks?

The spine is made up of the vertebrae (the bones), which have cartilage discs between them. Discs have a tough, fibrous outer membrane with a central gel-like core. They make the spine flexible and at the same time act as shock absorbents.

Do disk’s actually slip?

The discs are firmly fixed between the vertebrae and are held in place by ligaments. There is very little room for discs to slip.

If you have been diagnosed with a slipped disc, you might have imagined a disc slipping completely out of place in your spine, but this is not the case. The term ‘slipped disc’ does not really describe the process properly – the disc does not actually slip, but it can bulge or herniate.

Over time, the outer fibers of the disc deteriorate due to normal wear and tear. Under stress, a disc’s inner material may swell resulting in a disc bulge. If the material pushes through the outer membrane it is a disc herniation.

The disc material can injure the spinal cord or the nerves that radiate from it and this can cause debilitating pain. However, not all discs bulges press on nerves, and it is possible to have distorted discs without any pain or discomfort which could lead to increased wear and tear on your spine.

So, while discs don’t technically ‘slip’, they can still cause significant issues, so make sure you take care of your spine today! If you want a professional opionion, contact your chiropractor.

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