A torn disc is another term for an annular tear, which is really a more specific and accurate term to describe a tear in the part of the disc called the annulus fibrosis.
Your intervertebral disc is the structure that sits between the vertebrae in your spine to absorb the shock of your body in gravity and to resist gravity, and to give flexibility to your spine. You have discs from C2 all the way down to your sacrum, the triangular bone that sits at the bottom of your spine and connects to your two ilium bones.
The disc can be thought of as a jelly donut. It has a soft gel-like center that is contained by a tough outer band of ligaments, called the annulus fibrosis, that run at cross angles to one another. The center of the disc is called the nucleus pulposis. When you have a torn disc, it means that the fibers of the annulus have torn. You can have a transverse annular tear or a longitudinal tear in the disc, which can lead to a herniated disc because one of the jobs of the annulus is to contain the gel like center of the disc.
Torn discs can cause severe pain, which can even refer into your upper back or arms or into your legs. This pain can be burning, aching, or throbbing.
Because our discs lose their blood supply around the age of 14, the only way our discs can get water and nutrients and remove toxic acidic waste product is through osmosis and imbibition. Unfortunately, that mechanism is often compromised, which is why the disc may have dried out and torn to begin with.
There is no surgical intervention that is helpful with a torn disc, and differentiating a torn disc from a herniated disc causing pain is why a proper neurological examination must be performed to see what it generating the pain.
Truly, one of the most effective means of treating a torn disc is Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression. Decompression can recreate the normal pumping action of the disc that creates osmosis and imbibition. It also allows us to rehydrate the disc and bring nutrients into the disc to help it heal the tear and restore normal function to the disc reducing and eliminating the pain caused by a torn disc and a degenerated disc.
A disc is a ligament and ligaments have poor to no blood supply. That is why a sprain will heal slower than a fracture. A broken bone has a rich blood supply to allow it to heal, not so with ligaments. The beauty of non-surgical spinal decompression is that it helps to give the discs the nutrients it needs to heal itself.
In addition, we do many other therapies designed to improve strength and mobility to your spine hips and neck to reduce the likelihood of re-injury.