You have surely heard of the bulging disc or protruding disc or slipped disc, all terms that hurt just to hear them. The appropriate term for these types of herniated discs is "contained disc". If the contained disc is in the cervical spine, you may find yourself with neck pain and even arm pain.
The "contained disc" is a herniated disc in which the nucleus pulposus (the center of the disc) is contained within the anulus fibrosus (the outer layers of the disc).
Since the anulus fibrosus is very pain sensitive, a contained disc causes neck pain and, if the contained disc presses on a spinal nerve, may cause arm, wrist, hand and finger pain.
Watch this descriptive video of a contained disc herniation.
A thorough, clinical examination that may include imaging is important to your recovery.
Cervical Spine Exam Description
In-office, Moriarty Chiropractic uses Cox Technic Flexion Distraction and Decompression to lower the pressure in the disc so the nucleus pulposus returns to the center of the disc, aid in the healing of the torn anular fibers, and drive out chemicals that irritate and inflame the spinal nerves.
Graphic Animation of Cox Technic - Cervical Spine
The disc is pressing on the nerve. Note that as the disc herniation reduces, the pinched nerve is relieved.
This is an animation of the goal of Cox Technic Flexion-Distraction and Decompression: reduced irritation of spinal elements enough to relieve pain and help you regain your quality of life. The amount of decrease in size of the herniated disc necessary for pain relief varies from 0% to 100% for each individual patient.
Cox Technic Protocol I - for severe pain or pain that extends below the elbow
Cox Technic Protocol II - for pain that is in the neck and stays above the elbow
Time to Improvement
You must understand that it takes three months for a torn disc to heal well enough to allow you to return to daily activities like working at a computer, talking on the telephone for a long period of time, etc.
The first three to four weeks of concentrated treatment, therapies, and at-home care are designed to allow the best opportunity for the disc to heal quickly.
This three month window does not mean that you must be treated continually throughout this time period, but means that you must be cautious and aware of your spine's healing. Recognize that even though the pain is gone, sometimes in a day or two or week or two, healing is still taking place and could be hindered if you do something to aggravate the process.
At Home Care
At home you will want to avoid sleeping on your stomach, wear a neck brace if recommended, take nutritional supplements that help rebuild disc cartilage, exercise, and modify your daily activities as needed. You will want to work closely with us at Moriarty Chiropractic to ensure your treatment is properly administered and your return to maximum health is maximized.
Exercise is important to your recovery and prevention of future pain.
important to start exercises as soon as possible, not vigorously, but gently.
Do only exercises recommended.
Do exercises only to your tolerance.
Clinical Case Reports
Contact Moriarty Chiropractic for an evaluation of your cervical spine contained disc.