Does the term free fragment seem familiar to you? It is a type of disc herniation in the spine experienced by Sandy Springs residents that can press on a spinal nerve or inflame it that ends up in spine pain and pain radiating into the arms and legs. So, what is a free fragment (aka extruded disc or non-contained disc herniation)? Can you find help in Sandy Springs? Yes! Cross Chiropractic Center knows the free fragment and offers gentle chiropractic care to bring it back to being non-irritating with time.
Now, the free fragment is a piece of the disc that protrudes from the interior of the disc to become isolated outside of the disc as a free fragment. How does this happen? The exterior lining of the disc (remember the disc 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 simple 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 occurs, 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 upsetting to the Sandy Springs back pain patient because no one knows exactly how long it will take to shrink sufficiently to cease provoking the nerve to hurt. But Cross Chiropractic Center has some good news. Read on ...
In treating these free fragments, there are forms of treatment to assist in making the fragment smaller and hasten its heal. One such method is Cross Chiropractic Center'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 enlarges 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 gradually oftentimes in the hands of your Sandy Springs chiropractor and time.Contact Cross Chiropractic Center if you find yourself with lower back pain, neck pain, leg pain or arm pain that may be due to a free fragment. In Sandy Springs the free fragment may meet its match in our chiropractic care!