Lady in white shirt holding her low back

Lumbar disc injuries are one of the most common injuries that chiropractors see in practice. While disc injuries can be complex, our chiropractic team in West Kelowna can help to determine what kind of disc injury you may be dealing with as well as coming up with a strategy to get you back on your feet as soon as possible.


Types of Lumbar Disc Injuries

  • Disc Derangement: This disc injury is when the nucleus pulposis (the inner gelatinous material of the disc) works its way towards the outer fibers of the annulus fibrosis (the outer fibrous material of the disc). When there are small tears or irritant in the outer fibers of the disc they can become painful.
  • Disc Protrusion: These disc injuries are when the nucleus pulposis works its way towards the outer posterior fibers of the anullus fibrosis causing a bulge to form. This herniation is contained inside the disc but the bulge can extend into the spinal canal potential irritating nerve roots.
  • Disc Extrusion: This injury is when the nucleus pulposis makes its way outside of the outer fibers of the disc exposing the nucleus pulposis.
  • Disc Sequestration: Sequestration occurs when the nucleus pulposis migrates out of the outer fibers of the disc and is then separated from the disc itself.

How Chiropractors Treat Disc Injuries

  1. McKenzie Method: A form of rehab stretches aimed at reducing irritation of the annular fibers of the disc and spinal nerve roots to reduce pain and improve healing of the disc.
  2. Flexion - Distraction Traction: Traction is a technique aimed at changing the pressure inside the disc to help the nucleus pulposis migrate towards the middle of the disc.
  3. Chiropractic Adjustments: Spinal manipulation is targeted at restoring proper movement of the spine to take pressure off of the disc that is injured.


Santilli V, Beghi E, Finucci S. Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: a randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations. Spine J. 2006 Mar-Apr;6(2):131-7. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2005.08.001. Epub 2006 Feb 3. PMID: 16517383.

Mann SJ, Lam JC, Singh P. McKenzie Back Exercises. 2022 Apr 30. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan–. PMID: 30969542.

Dr. Seth Means

Dr. Seth Means


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