Treatment for Herniated Discs in Bradenton, FL
What is a Herniated Disc?
The spine is the column of bones that runs down the center of your back. These bones are called "vertebrae," and there are twenty-four of them. The discs, which give so many people so much trouble, are in-between the vertebrae. A disc is a pad that acts as a shock absorber between each of the bones, or vertebrae, of your spine. Discs are very complex and can easily cause low back pain and leg pain with a variety of other symptoms such as tingling, numbness and weakness.
Let’s discuss the anatomy of the disc so you can then understand why VAX-D and Cox Distraction make so much sense. The outside wall of each disc is called the "annulus." It is made up of cartilage similar to the cartilage in your nose or your ear. Inside of the outer cartilage is the nucleus pulposus, which is made up of a soft, jell-like substance. Picture a jelly donut with the jelly being the nucleus and the dough portion being the outer cartilage. What happens if you hold the donut in the palm of your hand and squeeze it with your other hand? The jelly oozes out through the dough, right? Well the same thing occurs within the spinal disc. The outer portion of the disc can tear, usually as a result of one major trauma or a number of little injuries over the years. This allows the cartilage to push out which is called a bulging disc. If the tears are bad enough, then the jelly or nucleus can ooze out as well. This is called a protruding or herniated disc. If the protruding portion of the disc actually breaks through the outer ligament of the disc, it is then called a ruptured disc.
So what causes the pain and other horrible symptoms?
Most commonly, the bulging disc, protruded or herniated disc can put pressure on the spinal cord and/or the spinal nerves. This is what causes the pain that grips your back and frequently radiates down into your buttocks and legs. It's also what causes numbness, tingling and weakness in your legs.
Now you must be thinking, “well if there is a tear or tears in the disc, why don’t they just heal similar to cutting your skin? This brings up an important point about discs and why they are unique. After the age of about 20-25, your discs lose their blood supply. Blood allows for healing to take place by carrying nutrients to damaged tissues and removing the dead tissue. This is why the discs are incapable of healing on their own. However, there is another interesting fact about discs. Once you are about 20-25 years old, your discs lose their blood supply. The vertebrae of your spine have a rich blood supply. In fact, almost all the bones in our body are nourished by a network of capillaries. That's why bones heal when we break them. However, there is no similar source of nutrients for adult discs. It is this lack of a blood supply that makes it so difficult for injured discs to heal. It also explains why discs degenerate or deteriorate, which is another kind of disc "injury". Quite simply, after age twenty-five, it is very difficult for the nutrients and cells necessary for healing to get to the injured disc. So, unlike your bones, a disc will not heal on its own. They need some way of getting a blood supply.
Prior to the invention of VAX-D, the only treatment that addressed the disc injuries was surgery and it has been somewhat effective for herniated discs or ruptured discs. However, if you had the choice of surgery or another treatment that has a 70% success rate with disc problems and is very conservative, non-invasive and totally safe, wouldn’t you try to avoid surgery?
This is where VAX-D comes in. Vertebral Axial Decompression was specifically designed to treat bulging discs, protruding discs, herniated discs and even ruptured discs. The theory behind VAX-D is that by decompressing the spine and discs, the positive pressures within the discs are reversed to negative pressures. These negative pressures act as a vacuum and “suck in” the herniated disc tissue. The challenge is similar to trying to get tooth paste back into the tube. One needs to reduce the pressure in the tube. The inventor, Allan Dyer, MD, theorizes that the reduced pressures and vacuum that is created by VAX-D draws blood from the vertebrae into the disc and allows for healing to take place within the disc! (All bones have capillaries, which are tiny blood vessels that bring blood into the bones to nourish them. This is why broken bones can heal by themselves.)
Physical Therapy, conventional chiropractic and medication do not directly address the disc problem, which is why their success rates are very low as compared to VAX-D.