What you should know about annular disc tear?

Annular disc tear is a common condition that affects employees – especially office workers. An annular disc tear is a progressive condition and can result in a disc herniation if not treated early.

There are many factors that can cause an annular disc tear – from lifting heavy objects to incorrect posture for activities. However, the most common factor that leads to this condition is the lack of physical activity which over time diminishes the disc and spinal flexibility.

An intervertebral disc consists of the nucleus pulposus – the soft, gelatinous central portion– and a strong outer fiber ring called the annulus fibrosus. The intervertebral disc is avascular so nutrients such as oxygen and glucose are supplied to the disc’s cells entirely by diffusion. Additionally, the spine is meant to move in order to stay healthy as movements aid the absorption of healthy nutrients to the intervertebral discs. Prolonged sitting and lack of physical activity restrain the nutrients intake to the discs, eventually weakening the annulus fibrosus and resulting in the nucleus pulposus breaking through. Ultimately, the nucleus pulposus will start putting pressure on the disc and irritates the surrounding nerves, finally developing into a herniation. The majority of disc problems occur in the lumbar spine of (L4-L5 or L5-S1) as well as cervical area of (C5-C6, C6-C7).

Without proper treatments, an annular disc tear can lead to more complicated outcomes. In some extreme cases, this condition can result in paralysis, losing of neurological functions or even fatality. Once the pulposus breaks through, it can put pressure on the nerves and creates symptoms such as severe pain, numbness, loss of sensation and weakness in the extremities. In addition to that, the trapped nerves can also affect internal organs and their functions.

Annular disc tear could be treated by Chiropractic, without drugs or surgeries at ACC. The treatment plan could include:

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