The jelly donut is one of the greatest man made desserts ever created. By examining this wonderful pastry ever so closely, we can learn a great many things about the human body. At first glance, it shows us how much our tastebuds love it’s jelly-filled goodness at any hour of the day! Under closer examination, this commonly eaten dessert can also teach us about the human spine.
The anatomy of the jelly donut is a great representation of what a spinal disc looks like in your neck and back. Much like the jelly donut, the spinal disc is made up of an outer layer and an inner “filling.” The spinal disc’s outer layer, (annulus fibrosis) is made out of tough fibrous tissue making a tight band around the disc. The inner “filling,” (nucleus pulposus) is a gel-like substance within the disc. Together, these help the disc work as a shock absorber between each bone (vertebrae) in your spinal column.
A common injury that occurs within the spine is a“bulging” or “herniation”of the spinal disc. This is when the “jelly” in the donut starts to protrude out of the disc. This can cause compression on exiting nerve roots in the neck and back resulting in severe pain, sciatica, and muscle weakness in the arms and legs.
Physical Therapy is extremely effective in treating “bulging” and”herniated” discs in the spine. Spinal Decompression through manual and mechanical traction of the spine can help decrease the compression on the disc, allowing the disc to retract, rehydrate, and decrease in inflammation. Our Doctors of Physical Therapy at Moriarty Physical Therapy are trained in various methods of spinal decompression to help treat injuries to the spinal disc and help patients avoid unwanted surgery. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a “bulging” or “herniated” disc, have them schedule today at Moriarty Physical Therapy through Direct Access (no prescription required and covered by your insurance). We’ll help you keep the jelly in your donut!