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Disc Disorders


Disc disorders are common causes of pain, either local pain or referring pain.  Disorders of disc include degenerative disc disease, disc bulges, and disc herniations.  Degenerative disc disease involves chronic degenerative changes to the disc including drying out and shrinking of the disc height.  Disc bulges are a broad expansion of the disc.  Disc herniations occur when there is a tear in the outer fibers of the disc allowing the inner material to rupture out, usually in a much more focal manner than a disc bulge.  Symptoms from discs vary from being asymptomatic to causing local pain, to single leg or arm pain, to causing spinal cord compression.  Clinical evaluation and diagnostic imaging are used to help localize, visualize and rate the severity of the lesion.   Depending on the severity, treatment can range from conservative care including chiropractic and rehabiliation exercises, to oral medication, to injections, and even to surgery.