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June 26, 2012

Does the phrase free fragment seem familiar to you? It is a class of disc herniation in the spine endured by Nashua residents that can place strain on a spinal nerve or inflame it that ends up in spine pain and pain scattering into the arms and legs. So, what is a free fragment (aka extruded disc or non-contained disc herniation)? Can you find aid in Nashua? Of course! Moriarty Chiropractic knows the free fragment and offers chiropractic care to bring it back to being non-irritating with time.

extrusion of discNow, the free fragment is a piece of the disc that bulges from the interior of the disc to become cut off from outside of the disc as a free fragment. How does this happen? The exterior lining of the disc (bear in mind the normal disc between vertebraedisc is the pad of cartilage between the vertebrae that allows and resists the effects of gravity on the spine?) develops a tear. It is through this tear that the inner part of the disc, called the nucleus pulposus, passes to gain access to the spinal canal which is the location of the nerves of the spine.

What causes this tear in the disc that allows the inner disc to escape? The tear can happen with such a straightforward movement as turning at the waist as in turning on the lawn mower engine, shoveling dirt, tossing a bowling ball, lifting the baby, stretching for an item from the top shelf in the kitchen cabinet, or other such turning motion. It is also intriguing that when the tear takes place, not only does the disc stick out to create a free fragment, but inside only 3 weeks to 3 months, the disc itself will lose its fluid and degenerate. (1,2)

What occurs to this free fragment that may compress or irritate the nerve? The good news is that it will become smaller over time. That time element is discouraging to the Nashua back pain patient because no one knows just how long it will take to shrink enough to cease provoking the nerve to hurt. But Moriarty Chiropractic has some good news. Read on ...

In treating these free fragments, there are forms of treatment to aid in making the fragment smaller and hasten its heal. One such method is Moriarty Chiropractic's Cox Technic Flexion Distraction and Decompression, a specialized form of spinal manipulation. Scientific studies show that this treatment lowers the pressure inside the disc; this helps the disc heal faster as the pressure on the torn disc is reduced. The treatment also broadens the nerve openings through which the nerve passes, and research has shown that this space increases by up to 28%. The stimulation of the circulation around the free fragment helps in shrinking the size of the free fragment by absorbing the fragment and easing the inflammation it creates around the nerve.

Other names for such free fragments of disc material are sequestered disc, prolapsed disc, and extruded disc. Regardless of what it is called, the free fragment hurts, heals and finds relief steadily oftentimes in the hands of your Nashua chiropractor and time.

Contact Moriarty Chiropractic if you find yourself with lower back pain, neck pain, leg pain or arm pain that may be due to a free fragment. In Nashua the free fragment may meet its match in our chiropractic care!