Contacting a Chiropractor for a Spine Bulging Disc

Cervical_vertebra_englishWhat is a Bulging Disc?


The disc provides cushioning between two adjacent vertebras and allows for flexibility of the spine. In total there are twenty three discs that are found at intervals throughout your backbone that also serve as shock absorbers and keep together the structure of the spine. Size of these discs varies with the level of the spine. A disc is spongy in nature and has a tough cartilage called annulus fibrosus. Annulus fibrosus contains a soft jelly like material known as the nucleus pulposus.

The Bulge

Mostly a disc covers the entire space between two vertebras and is in alignment with the length and shape of the spine. A bulging disc occurs when a disc extends beyond its normal spacing. Analogically, bulging disc injuries are said to be similar to an oversized meat patty that bulges out of its bun.

When bulging disc injuries occurs, the tough outer cartilage, annulus fibrosus, expands in size.  Even after becoming oversized for the two vertebras it resides between, the nucleus pulposus (the inner jelly like material) stays in its rightful place.

Symptoms of a Bulging Disc

The Nerve Story

It is common knowledge that the spinal cord is the relay station and has nerves running through it, enabling communication to and from the brain. These are known as the spinal nerves or nerve roots. Any disturbance in a section of the spinal cord can disrupt the passageway for these nerves.

How Bulging Discs Effect the Nerves

Bulging disc injuries can easily disturb or disrupt the smooth flow of the nerve roots. When a disc spills out of its normal spacing after becoming larger in size, it pushes against the nerve causing compression. With such a disc injury, signal transmission can cause symptoms of pain to arise in several different parts of the body. It is interesting to note however that for several individuals, a bulging disc is asymptomatic.

Chiropractics and Disc Injuries

Not only are chiropractic treatments effective in dealing with bulging disc injuries, they can help reduce pain and heal the injury in the long run. Through intense physical therapy, after a thorough examination of the patient, a bulging disc condition can be resolved. Several chiropractic practitioners will often make use of machines in addition to manual therapies. For instance, a disc compression machine is often utilized with disc bulging cases. The machine is a traction that applies a controlled amount of force to the area of concern.

We hope that you will find relief for your spinal condition under a chiropractic practitioner.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Cervical vertebra english.png

Spondylolysis and Lower Back Pain

385px-Spinal_column_curvature_2011Spondylolysis is one of many conditions that chiropractic practices have to deal with. The condition occurs due to a weakness in the section of the vertebrae that is known as pas interaticularis. This is a thin piece of bone that is responsible for connecting the lower and upper portion of the facet joints. These join in the vertebrae’s upper and lower section to form a comprehensive network of bone that allows the spine to move.

The defect can lead to small fractures in the spine that cause certain vertebrae to slip out of place.

Some chiropractic practices say that Spondylolysis is a hereditary disease especially considering infants who are born with a thin vertebrae, a condition that puts them at a higher risk for fractures.   Repetitive trauma to the lower back may also cause the pars interarticularis to weaken over time.


Those who have spondylolysis do not experience any symptoms and which is exactly why they might not be aware of it once it does occur. Low back pain is the most common symptom once the pain from the condition spreads. It feels like a muscle in the lower back has been sprained and usually gets worse with exercise or activity. It can also occur during a teenager’s growth spurt after puberty which is why the typical age of a person who acquires the condition is usually between 15 to 16 years.

The condition usually occurs in 3 to 4% of the population and is the most common cause of lower back pain in children or people below the age of 26. Spondylolysis is more common in kids or teenagers who take part in vigorous activities that over extend their spines such as weightlifting, gymnastics and football.


The condition calls for a more conservative approach. Chiropractic care of Spondylolysis would aim to reduce the pain, let the fracture heal and help return the patient to normal activities. Patients are also advised to refrain from any vigorous physical activities such as exercise or sports to help them heal faster. Treatments for severe cases often involve the use of a back brace or support which helps stabilize the back and prevent lower back pain to aid the healing process.

The condition might not be preventable in some cases however certain steps can be taken to reduce the risk of fractures in the lower back.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Spinal column curvature 2011.png


Happy Holidays From Bates Chiropractic in Manhattan Beach, CA (310) 545-4188

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Introverted Networking


Not all successful people are extroverts. On the contrary, the most successful people learn to play their strong hand. For those of you who are introverted, preferring a more quiet existence, here are a few tips to help you network in ways that are comfortable for you. Remember, there is more than one way to . . . well, do just about anything.

The word “network” generally makes most introverts I know break out into a cold sweat, and they try to disappear into their desks, hoping not to be noticed. And their fears are quite real. After all, most networking events seem to be dominated by people who have “never met a stranger” and can find something to talk about with just about everyone. Being interesting and entertaining to a roomful of people is a tall order for an introvert.

Being noticed is certainly one part of a networking event, but you don’t have to be the one everyone’s looking at and listening to. Rather than competing against the natural-born extroverts, play to your strengths.

Introverts are by nature very observant. Rather than flitting from person to person, having dozens of superficial conversations, identify the one person you feel you most need to meet. Save all your energy for that one encounter. Be prepared with any questions you may have, or information that you wish to share with that one person. That is considered a positive networking experience.

Introverts are naturally good listeners. When you can give someone your undivided attention and manage to make one or two remarks to demonstrate your understanding of the lecture, I mean, conversation, you will have made a friend for life. Because most people are talking at a networking event, finding someone willing to listen is a huge bonus.

Prepare for the event by having some questions ready, preferably open-ended questions. That way after you ask a question, you can sit back and let the other person talk and expound on their subject. A few well considered questions will keep you busy for as long as you intend to be at the event.

Set a limit to how long you will be at the event. Never go with a group of extroverts. They will likely be willing to stay for the entire event and meet people for drinks afterward. Drive separately, or with another introvert and have a set time that you plan to leave. This way you will be able to focus on making the networking event a positive experience for you without worrying about how you will be able to extract yourself. With a little practice, you’ll be a networking pro in no time.

Photo Credit: Introvert’s plea via Quinn Dombrowski at Flickr

Backaches Can Save Your Life!

Last time we talked about the study in the Journal of Human Hypertension that showed how a chiropractic adjustment can lower blood pressure. A bone can be out of alignment in the neck, called a subluxation, and it could actually cause the body to have high blood pressure. But it can also cause a lot of other things.

When we talked to people that have come in with backaches, they had subluxations that may have created other problems, such as high blood pressure, stomach problems, heart problems, lung problems, digestion problems, reproductive problems, even immunological problems. That could all be from a subluxation!

How can that be? Let me show you the science behind that:

When you have a subluxation, a bone goes out of alignment that can interfere with the messages going down the nerve. We need these messages to go from the brain down through the spinal chord out the nerves to allow proper function to happen.

The way the neurological pathway works is you have the upper cervical mechanical receptors, when the spine is out of alignment, you adjust that area and it actually affects the mechanical receptors, which will affect the nucleus intermedius, which affects the nucleus tractus solitarius, it goes down the line to the dorsal nucleus of the vagus nerve, and that’s key because that’s going to affect the parasympathetic efferents, which affects the heart, the lungs, the intestines, the immune system, even the reproductive system. So, a subluxation can affect those pathways through the autonomic nervous system.


Some people, such as those in the study regarding high blood pressure, have no pain at all, yet have health problems; however, most people who go into a chiropractor’s office usually have some pain. They are lucky enough to have pain, because they have subluxations that may be creating other problems with the particular organs mentioned, and getting adjusted helps those areas too. It’s a secondary effect that they didn’t know they were going to get. There’s a lot of medical research that backs that up!

If you notice the chart in the video, it shows how subluxations in the thoracic spine can affect the lungs, the stomach, the gallbladder, the heart, and the kidneys. There is a lot of research that shows how what one would think to be a medical condition can actually have been created by a subluxation.

I’m not saying that correcting the subluxations is a panacea, but when you have that nerve interference, like what we talked about, no drug is going to correct the cause; you have to go to a chiropractor to find out.

So, it’s really important to get checked, regardless if you’re experiencing symptoms or not. That’s why some people can have a backache that can actually save their life. Think of a backache as a blessing in disguise.

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At Bates Chiropractic, we take great pride in providing the finest chiropractic care for our patients.

(310) 545-4188

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