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Disc Herniation Bulges & Degeneration

sherri February 2003 when I developed (what an MRI two weeks later would show to be) a large extruded disc. The pain was initially excruciating. When it stopped being excruciating, my left leg became completely numb. My left knee reflex was almost non-existent. Physically, I was at a stand-still. I was use to power-walking 4 miles a day and to moving quickly. I was frightened and looked to orthopedic specialists for answers.

Three doctors marveled at the size of my disc extrusion...I wasn't a good surgery candidate...not one of them knew what to do with me. Two and a half weeks after the injury, a friend of a friend called and literally insisted that I see Dr. Morris. He was convinced that this doctor could help me avoid surgery and recover.

My initial exam with Dr. Morris lasted longer than all three of my previous doctor visits combined. After 30 days of treatment, the numbness had disappeared. My knee reflex had returned. Better yet, I'd learned how to move, what not to do, effective biomechanics, etc. Most importantly, as Dr. Morris' patient, I have been priviledged to experience a level of care that pays attention to my fears, answers my questions and is 100% present and focused on my condition...I recommend Dr. Morris without reservation."

-- Sherri D. Cannon; Executive Coach, The Cannon Group, Inc., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Click Letters and Videos From Our Patients to learn from those who suffered with and know most about these conditions. They offer understanding and good advice.

What's a Disc Herniation?

The disc is a specialized tissue that acts as a shock absorber for the spine and a "spacer" that allows the spinal nerves enough room to exit without being "pinched."

The disc can herniate or bulge and pinch the spinal nerves and sometimes the spinal cord. The pain can be severe and shoot down either the arms or legs. It often coexists with numbness or muscle weakness.


spinalstenosis02A Cross Section of The Vertebra noting the location of the Spinal Canal which houses the spinal cord (looking downward from the top of the spine) .


disc herniationThis is an MRI of a large disc herniation viewed from the side. Normally the disc stays within the boundries of the vertebrae above and below it. When the supporting fibers of the disc are weakened, the disc herniates into the neural canal (the vertical white tube) and can compress pain sensitive nerves.




normal disc transThis is the cross section of a normal disc. Notice how the disc is not bulging into the spinal canal (appears as a white circle below the disc).



disc herniation transThis is the cross section of a verteba with a disc herniation. Notice how the disc is bulging into the spinal canal (the white area below the disc which is no longer in the shape of a circle).



What's the average medical treatment?

Usually your orthopedic surgeon or neurologist will recommend anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxants and possibly physical therapy. If that doesn't work, injections and surgery are tried. None of this is designed to correct the disc bulge and often the symptom subsides just to become chronic in the future.

What's Disc Degeneration?

After a disc has been injured, it may begin a degenerative downhill spiral. Since the blood supply to the discs decrease with age, injuries and smoking--the disc may not completely heal and begin to crack, tear and herniate. Much of the disc degeneration could probably be avoided with proper physical medicine (i.e. correct disc exercises, spinal mobilization, realignment and, if necessary, non-surgical spinal decompression).

lowbackpain02Notice when a disc degenerates, it narrows and the vertebrae move closer together. Disc degeneration is a process of advanced drying and aging of the disc usually begun by an injury although genetics and smoking may also play a role. Treatment must be geared towards correcting the spinal misalignment (if necessary) and restoring the circulation to the disc so it can heal.



What's The Average Chiropractic Treatment?

Chiropractors try a variety of spinal adjustments which attempt to realign and mobilize the spine and increase the circulation to the disc hoping the disc will correct it's position and "unentrap" the nerve. Their success rate is usually better then medicine and is much safer. Chiropractic should always be tried before medical treatment.

What's the Hydraulic Method of Disc Correction...The Method Developed By The Morris Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center.

The Hydraulic Method places the spine in the exact position necessary to return the disc to its proper alignment and creates a momentary vacuum effect in the disc to increase it's blood flow. Then rehabilitation can help the disc to heal.

The disc herniates due to hydaulic pressure changes within the disc while bending forward. We use the same hydraulic mechanism to put it back in position. Finally, discs can be completely corrected without surgery.

Several years ago, the doctors at our office noticed three important findings which led to an answer for most people's disc bulge, disc herniation and spinal stenosis.

They are:

  • The two arched areas of the spine (the neck and lower back) account for 95% of the disc herniations.
  • Herniated discs were nearly always associated with a flattening or reversal of the normal spinal curve.
  • Patients usually herniated their discs while bending forward in a spine that had already flattened it's normal curvature. The disc finally had no choice but to bulge into the nerve.

disc herniation01The neck and lower back are the two areas that herniate. Notice that they are the two arched areas of the spine. The mid-back, which rarely herniates curves the opposite way.



The answer became clear. Find a way to restore the proper spinal curve and then reverse the movement that pushed (herniated) the disc into the nerve. The doctors in our office developed a gentle, progressive, and pain-free treatment and it worked!!!

We called the treatment The Hydraulic Treatment for Disc Herniation since it used the natural hydraulic pressure within the disc to return it to its proper position.

disc herniation02When the spine bends forward abnormally, the disc bulges backwards into the spinal nerve. Compare a spinal model to an MRI. This led us to realize that the treatment must involve correcting the curve to it's "pre-flattened" position. This is a primary reason most other treatments had failed or were only partially sucessful.



It is extremely effective and completely safe. We've helped thousands of patients with this approach.

You will see results within four weeks (usually within the first several days).

But The Hydraulic Method Doesn't Work For Everyone. Some cases of spinal stenosis and disc herniation will only respond to our Spinal Decompression Program.

In cases of severe disc herniation, especially those that show tears or are chronic and have not responded to other approaches, we offer the most advanced form of Spinal Decompression utilizing the DRX Spinal Decompression device. It has been shown in peer reviewed studies to:

  • Increase and restore hydration and proper circulation to the disc.
  • Repair disc tears 90% of the time (Journal of Neuroimaging).
  • We are currently producing a study for publication that shows an 80-90% successful outcome in patients completing our treatment program for spinal stenosis and disc disease. Treatment was considered successful if the patient dropped their pain level at least 3 points (out of a 10 point pain scale) and were able to walk, sit, stand and function better and reduce or eliminate pain medication.
  • We believe our protocol is more successful than any other approach available for these conditions.

In fact, 80-90% of our patients with long standing spinal stenosis that was not helped through other treatments (including surgery), significantly improved within 3 months. They were able to stand and walk significantly further and decreased or eliminated their pain medication!

Spinal Decompression works differently than the Hydraulic Method. It is a very sophisticated and advanced type of traction that isolates just the involved disc and creates a suction that pulls the disc away from the nerve. By creating this suction, the circulation is returned to the damaged disc and it actually heals!

Your disc isn't just temporarily numbed or medicated, but in fact heals.

Not All Spinal Decompression is Spinal Decompression!

At the present time, there are only two machines that produce Spinal Decompression. They are the VAX D and the DRX 9000. The VAX D was the first type of decompression, but has a draw back since it often hurts patient's shoulders since the patient holds on with their arms during the treatment. The DRX 9000 allows the patient to be completely relaxed and does not require any resistance or support from the patient. We only use the DRX 9000 with our patients.

Other devices use the term "decompression" but they are only a type of traction. They do not have the method of isolating a disc and avoiding the protective muscular resistance that the DRX 9000 can.

To learn more about our DRX 9000 spinal decompression program, click here: Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression with the DRX 9000.


Why Have We Become A Nationally Leading Spine Center For The Treatment of Disc Bulge, Disc Herniation, Disc Degeneration, Spinal Stenosis, Sciatica and Spinal Decompression?

Our center speciailizes in disc disorders whether it's due to herniation, protrusion, degeneration or an annular tear. These disc conditions cause spinal stenosis, nerve compression, mechanical back pain and basically take the joy out of life.

We use many nonsurgical and very effective treatments including:

  • The Hydraulic Method
  • Spinal Decompression
  • Complete In-Office and Out of Office Spinal Reeducation and Rehabilitation
  • Complete Physiotherapeutic modalities (e.g. Ultrasound, sinewave, galvanic, and medium frequency currents, myotherapies...)
  • Comprehensive Chiropractic Analysis
  • The Most Advanced Spinal Decompression Brases and Ergonomic Aids Available
  • Associated With Doctors and therapists in Pain Management, Acupuncture, Surgery, Internal Medicine and Psychology See Our Staff at

We are a comprehensive disc and spine center. There is not a method of treatment that can help not covered by our center. With severe, chronic, disabling back pain, you need to find a center that has all available options! Click here to learn more about The Morris Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center.

Click here to learn more about Disc Herniations In The Neck.

Click here to read about The Research Performed at The Morris Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center On The Non-Surgical Treatment of Severe Back Pain

Have a Free On-Line Consultation with one of our doctors by clicking, Free On-Line Consultation. You'll get a meaningful response today or tomorrow.

To schedule an appointment or ask us questions, call our spinal stenosis and disc center at 310-451-5851. You may also E-Mail Us.





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