In my 30 years of practicing Chiropractic, I can’t even come close to estimating the number of times I have heard the general public and Medical Doctors refer to back pain as a result of “SLIPPED” discs.  I’d ballpark it between 5,000 and 10,000 times conservatively!  Here’s the HUGE problem.  There is no such thing as a “slipped” disc!  It still amazes me that MDs will dumb themselves down by utilizing a term that is so highly inaccurate that it is laughable.  But, when dealing with the general public and their patients, most MDs feel like the majority of patients are too intellectually inferior to know the difference.  In other words, they are patronizing the public and their patients.

DISCS DON’T SLIP!!!  They can bulge, herniate, protrude, extrude, desiccate, prolapse and rupture, but they don’t slip.  Why is this an important fact?  Simply because it gives the back pain sufferer an inaccurate perception of what is actually causing their problem.  Discs are inanimate cartilaginous structures that allow for motion between vertebrae and create enough space between the vertebrae for the spinal nerves to exit from the side of the spine.  They comprise 6 to 8 inches of the average person’s height and they act as defacto shock absorbers in order to assist the normal three curves of the spinal column in dissipating the compressive effects of gravity.

DISCS however are the primary source of BACK & NECK PAIN.  85% of low back or neck pain emanates from the intervertebral discs, 15 to 30% comes from the posterior joint capsule, and lastly, less than 15% comes from direct pressure on the spinal nerves or spinal cord.

The common question is:  What causes back pain then?  Back pain comes from the improper utilization of muscles that are designed to move us, trying to hold us still.  These muscles respond to gravity by compressing our lumbar and cervical spines.  Ultimately, IMPROPER MUSCLE RECRUITMENT causes all of the aforementioned disc maladies.  Muscles just happen to be the only animate structures in our bodies.  These muscles are controlled and coordinated by the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM which is trying with every effort to protect us from injury.  Therefore, our muscles end up being both the cause of the problem and the only solution.  The solution lies in the use of the CORE MUSCULATURE as the protective mechanism.  Tune in the next time when we find out why we get shorter as we get older!

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