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Taking Charge of Your Health


L4, L5 disc bulge, disc herniation, disc protrusion,
disc extrusion. In this video, I’m going to teach you how
to interpret your MRI report if you received an MRI report from your doctor or specialist
saying you have an L4, L5 disc herniation or disc bulge. Helping you relieve pain, conquer stress and
supercharge your health the chiropractic way. Hi, welcome to this video. I’m Dr. Walter Salubro. I’m a Chiropractor in Vaughan and the author
of Back to Health by Choice: How to Relieve Pain, Conquer Stress and Supercharge Your
Health the Chiropractic Way. And in this video, I’m not only going to
teach you how to interpret and understand your MRI report but I’m also going to show
you how I would interpret it as a chiropractor in terms of looking at it from a structural,
corrective perspective and also show you the kind of options you have, truly, to get that
taken care of and treated properly. So, what sparked this video? Well, I received a question from one of my
viewers and this is what she said. She’s 25 years old. She says, “Dr. Walter, I have a disc bulge
with post-central disc extrusion at L5 S1 level indenting the thecal sac and causing
severe narrowing of bilateral, lateral recess and neural foramina with compression of the
transversing and exiting nerve roots.” She actually quoted her MRI report and she
actually sent me a copy of her MRI report and I saw that word for word. Then she goes on to say, “I was asked to
consult a neurosurgeon who said that surgery is the only alternative to cure the severe
pain I have while walking and sitting. He also told that if I don’t do surgery
soon, chances are that my legs will get extremely weak in the future. Do you think I have any possibility of avoiding
surgery in my case?” I can really get where she’s coming from
and I’ve seen many, many patients in my office that had back pain, leg pain, disruption
in their lumbar spine, the lower back, and also damage to their disc. So first of all, let me show you what these
terms mean because these are very big terms on this MRI report and it’s good to understand
it so you know how to position yourself in terms of what kind of options you have to
take care of disc bulges or disc herniations. So first of all, what’s a disc bulge? Well, if you look at a normal model of the
spine, vertebrae, vertebrae, the disc, nice healthy disc, thick, wide, fibrocartilaginous
structure on the outside, very, very strong, with a jelly-like material on the inside and
it’s well contained and it acts like a shock absorber. However, due to stresses and trauma and impacts
or misalignments of the spine over time, the outer ring of the disc can get damaged and
cause the inner part to essentially bulge out or herniate. What does that look like? This is an example of degeneration along the
actual vertebrae. The disc now is narrower. You can see the difference. So this side here, healthy low back disc and
vertebrae. This side here, unhealthy, degenerated low
back disc and vertebrae. And if you look over here, on the side, that
is a disc herniation. Okay? So, in the MRI report, this viewer says that
she has disc bulge with post-central disc extrusion. What that means is, so here’s a lumbar spine,
straight from the front, curvy from the side, that’s normal. Again, an example of a disc herniation. What post-central disc herniation or disc
bulge means is, it means that the disc on the inside, where the spinal canal is, is
protruding straight back centrally. So back into the spinal cord or nerves area. What does it mean when it says that the disc
bulge is indenting into the thecal sac? Well, your spinal cord, which is well protected
inside of your spinal column, is actually surrounded by a tough membrane. The outer one is the toughest one. It’s called the dura mater and these membranes
make up what is called the thecal sac. And within that thecal sac, there’s a bunch
of fluid that flows from your brain down to your sacrum and back up to your brain that’s
called cerebrospinal fluid. The spinal cord, which as you can imagine
is a such an important structure that it needs to be well protected because all the information
that controls all of your bodily functions and all your organs and all your hormone systems
and your adaptability to stresses and your movement and everything in your body flows
from brain through spinal cord to all your body parts and back up to the brain. That’s where the flow of information of
life goes through. So, it needs to be well protected, the spinal
cord. So, it’s protected by fluid inside the thecal
sac, this thecal sac membrane and also the bones on the outside, which are the vertebrae. What else did the MRI report say? It said that there’s bilateral, lateral
recess. So, this bulge is going not only centrally
back, but also laterally to the outside now closing up or compromising the openings where
the nerves comes out from. That’s called the lateral recess and the
neural foramina is the actual opening where the nerve comes out from. Not only in this case is the disc going straight
back, but it’s also going laterally. These nerves in the lower back, they go into
the lower back region, they go into the legs down to the foot, and it also goes to the
lower digestive organs, the colon and the pelvic organs, sex glands and bladder and
so forth. So, it’s an important area. If there’s a disc bulge that’s irritating
the nerves that go to those body parts, it can trigger leg pains, sciatica, possibly
digestive issues or even problems with internal organs in the pelvic region. Now, as a chiropractor, when I see an MRI
report like that, I want to see what the structure of the spine looks like not just from the
soft tissue perspective, which is what an MRI tells us, which is good information, but
I want to see it also from an alignment perspective on plain film x-rays because you need to understand
that if you have a disc bulge or a disc herniation or damage to your disc or degeneration on
your spine, what that tells you and me, it tells us that this damage has been existing
for a very, very long time regardless of when the symptoms appear. Sometimes the symptoms appear immediately. Sometimes the symptoms appear later. But when there’s that much damage, especially
degeneration damage and disc bulge or disc herniations, that’s when the problems been
existing for a very long time. So the next question I ask as a structural
corrective chiropractor is, what caused the disc bulge or the disc herniation? Was it trauma? Was it impact? Was it poor posture over time? Was it a shifting or misalignment of the spinal
structures, the sacrum or the pelvis. I mean, check this out. Here is a spine, the low back. It’s chilling up straight. Well, what if the pelvis or the sacrum is
tilting causing the spine to tilt or what if the curve of the spine actually lose the
shape. Well, that will actually compromise the integrity
of the lumbar discs causing damage to those discs, wear and tear degeneration over time
or disc bulge and disc herniation. So as a structural corrective chiropractor,
I would assess the structural alignment of the complete spine from top to bottom with
a focus on the lower back pelvic region. So what are your options if you have disc
bulge or disc herniation? Well, if you go to a medical doctor or a medical
specialist, they will give you anywhere from 1 to 3 options. One, medications, which I’m sure you probably
started there already. Well, my question to you is, if you take medications,
what will that do to correct the problem that’s causing the disc bulge, the structural misalignment
or the damage to the spine that’s causing disc bulge in that degeneration. Not much. It will actually do nothing. Maybe numb the pain but that’s about it. Another option that they may give you is physiotherapy
or some kind of therapy or exercises. That’s good. That has merits. It will help you cope with the inflammation. Help you relieve the pain and get mobility,
strengthen the muscles. But again, a physiotherapist does not work
in realigning the spinal structure, which could be contributing to that disc bulge. The third option is, like in this case, in
this young woman’s case, is surgery. I’m afraid that’s sometimes some docs
will jump to surgery possibly sooner than later without looking at other options. I’ve had many patients in my office, as
a chiropractor that were given recommendations for surgery with disc bulges at L4 L5, the
lower lumbar spine. And yet we’ve been able to help them conservatively
with corrective chiropractic care, spinal correction of their spine, and also some specific
exercises that we give them to take home and also do in our office. So in other words, surgery was prevented for
them and they’re back on their feet and they’re walking absolutely great. So those are the options that a doctor will
give you – medication, surgery, therapy or physiotherapy. However, as a chiropractor, what I would do
is focus on correcting the alignment of the spine, stabilizing the spine, and restoring
good function and motion and stability to the lower back so we are actually eliminating
the causes of that disc bulge and restoring proper structure and function to the spine. Thereby preventing surgery and alleviating
all kinds of pain and getting you back to your normal daily function. So I hope you found this video tutorial useful. If you have any questions about the MRI report
or disc protrusions or disc bulges or possible recommendations for what you can do, or a
chiropractic perspective on that, leave them in the comments below. I always answer all your questions and comments. Also if you found value to this, click the
thumbs up below the video. Share this with someone that you know will
find value with this, whether it’s a family member or a friend that has back pain, leg
pain, or disc bulges, and of course, subscribe to my channel below because you’ll get more
of these tutorials in the near future. Hope you enjoyed this and I’ll talk to you
again soon. To learn more about corrective chiropractic
care at Back to Health Chiropractic Centre can help you with your chronic pain problem,
visit www.ibthcc.com. Back to Health Chiropractic Centre is located
at 20 Cranston Park Avenue, #6 Vaughan Ontario, L6A 2W2.

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