Intervertebral disc tears
Intervertebral discs are sometimes called ‘discs’ for short. The term ‘disc tears’ implies that some of the fibres of a disc are disrupted and ‘torn’. Technically the name for this isn’t disc tear but disc fissure. There are many reasons this can occur; the majority of disc tears come from degeneration (wear and tear) of the discs. Disc degeneration means that the disc has broken down over time. People who sit for long periods, lift heavy objects all day at work are at more risk. People are more at risk of a disc tear from the following factors.
- Mechanical factors – occupations with repeated heavy lifting etc.
- Nutritional factors – not getting enough nutrients for disc repair.
- Hereditary factors – genetically not the toughest discs.
The symptoms of disc tears are variable and range from symptomatic to asymptomatic. It is not uncommon for disc tears to be asymptomatic. If the tear is symptomatic, back and neck pain is typically located around the location of the tear but may radiate to different locations. Pain may be constant or only when mechanically loading the spine with an activity such as lifting, bending or sitting.
Treatment for disc tears will depend on whether the tear is symptomatic or asymptomatic. Chiropractic and physiotherapy treatments aim to limit the pain and improve the way the spine moves. For a specific treatment plan to your case, please contact one of our chiropractors or physiotherapists.
Our Balmain and Rozelle chiropractors have also put together these articles
- Intervertebral disc summary
- Degenerative intervertebral discs (technical)
- Degenerative intervertebral discs (non-technical)
- Normal Vs pathological intervertebral disc changes
- Intervertebral disc bulge
- Intervertebral disc herniation
- Intervertebral disc protrusion