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Monday, December 22, 2014
Generally, when pain is felt somewhere on the body, the cause of the pain is in the nearby vicinity. This is not always the case for spinal disc problems. When problems persist with a vertebrae disc, it can cause different types of pain in a completely different area of the body. Sometimes it can get even more confusing when it comes to pinpointing the origin of this pain, especially when distinguishing between pinched nerve and degenerated disc pain. 

What Is a Pinched Nerve?

When a vertebrae disc leaks or protrudes into the surrounding nerve root space (as seen in symptomatic herniated discs), the pain felt is associated with the compression on the nerve not the actual disc. This is generally known as a pinched nerve, and it causes radicular or nerve root pain that radiates into other parts of the body, also known as radiculopathy. As the pain can often be felt in a completely different area, such as down the leg or in the arm, than its originating point, the person suffering will often try to treat the symptom instead of the actual root of the problem. 
A common symptom of a pinched nerve is leg pain. This is known as sciatica as the pain radiates from a disc pressing onto the sciatic nerve, which is the largest and longest nerve in the body running from the lower back down into the legs.

What causes a pinched nerve?

  • Herniated Discs:  When the jelly-like center of a disc pushes against the tough, outer ring creating a bulge. Sometimes, but not often, the center of the disc can push completely through the outer portion. 
  • Spinal Stenosis: Two types exist lumbar and cervical
    • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: The spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed, or choked, and this can produce symptoms of sciatica.
    • Cervical Spinal Stenosis: Occurs in the neck and can be more dangerous when compressing on the spinal cord. This version can lead to major body weaknesses even paralysis.
  • Bone Spurs: A tiny pointed outgrowth of bone as a result of osteoarthritis, which is a joint disease that affects mostly cartilage.

What Is a Degenerated Disc?

Although degenerative disc disease is called a disease, it is not actually a disease but rather the process that the spine undergoes as it ages. As the body grows older, cartilage becomes weaker, thinner, and just all around more fragile. Since the discs and the joints that stack the vertebrae are partly composed of cartilage, they are subject to wear and tear. When this occurs the spine becomes more susceptible to herniation. 

What causes a degenerated disc?

  • Spondylosis: Gradual deterioration of the disc between the vertebrae.
  • Trauma or injury to the spine.  

Problems created by a degenerated disc

  • Cervical Disc Disease: Disc degeneration in the neck.
  • Thoracic Disc Disease: Disc degeneration in the mid-back.
  • Lumbago: Low back pain.
  • Sciatica: Irritation of the sciatic nerve that causes pain to radiate down the leg.
  • Radiculopathy: Nerve irritation caused by damage to the disc between the vertebrae.
  • Disc Herniation: When the central, jelly-like center of a disc protrudes the tougher outer ring. 
Yucha Chiropractic & Massage provides chiropractic treatment to the Pottstown, Limerick, and Boyertown areas to help people live more productive and active lives. Common conditions that are treated by the chiropractors at Yucha include pinched nerves, headaches and migraines, sciatica, and pulled muscles. 
Posted by: Ashley Dempsey 
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Yucha Medical Pain Management & Chiropractic Rehabilitation is located in Pottstown, PA, but provides chiropractic threatment, massage therapy, and decompression therapy to patients in surrounding areas including Limerick, Chester Springs, Boyertown, Gilbertsville, and Royersford.
Medical Pain Management and Chiropractor in the following areas: Pottstown, Limerick, Chester Springs, Boyertown, Gilbertsville and Royersford