In this article we explain Herniated Disc Chiropractic treatment and how you can avoid surgery with the help of chiropractic care:
What Is Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc, sometimes called a “bulging disc” or “ruptured disc” can be very painful. Interestingly, you can live with herniated disc for a long period of time before you may even know about it. A disk becomes herniated when the exterior of the disk cracks, pushing an interior gel-like material (the nucleus) out. This rupture rubs against nerves in your spine and vertebrae which causes pain and other symptoms. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, sciatica etc.
In your spinal column discs are the shock-absorbing cushions between each pair of vertebrae in your spine. Each disc has a strong outer ring of fibers, called the annulus, and a soft, gelatinous center, called the nucleus pulposus. The disc’s nucleus serves as the main shock absorber for the adjacent vertebrae.
If you get a tear in the outer (annular) ring of the disc, the soft nucleus pulposus can protrude into the spinal canal. This common and painful disorder is called a herniated disc (also known as a ruptured disc or a prolapsed disc). The protrusion of the nucleus pulposus can press on a nerve root or the spinal cord. The damaged disc can also leak fluid, which may inflame nerve roots. For this reason, herniated discs can become extremely painful.
When a herniated disc occurs in the mid-back, it can be extremely serious. The smaller spinal canal in the thoracic (mid-back) region leaves very little space around the spinal cord. In severe cases, the pressure of a herniated disc on the thoracic spinal cord can lead to paralysis below the waist. Fortunately, most herniated discs happen in the lumbar or cervical spine, where the spinal canal is larger and paralysis is less likely.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A DISC INJURY
All of the above issues tend to result in considerable back pain, numbness, and limitation in range of motion due to the irritation of the nerve roots at the point where the injury occurs and the impact this has on the surrounding tissues. A number of distressing symptoms can arise from this nerve irritation and damage, including but not limited to:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Weak legs or feet
- Leg and foot pain, numbness and tingling (also known as sciatica)
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
Chiropractor And Herniated Disc
Back and neck pain are the chief complaints among those who seek chiropractic treatments. While most back and neck and leg pain is minor and can be alleviated with regular chiropractic adjustments, some back and neck pain can be attributed to a herniated disc, which is a more extreme problem. Herniated discs occur when the rubber pad that supports the spinal disc slips out of place. Often times, the disc presses up against a nerve, which can lead to minor or excruciating pain. A disc can herniate by stretching or moving the wrong way, lifting heavy objects improperly, getting into a car accident, or simply from getting older. No matter how it happens, it is painful and isn’t something anyone should have to suffer from long-term.
Can a Chiropractor Help a Herniated Disc
A lot of people are fearful of chiropractors and it’s understandable. The “pops” and “cracks” can be irksome and when you’re already in pain, the idea of having your body manipulated can be very scary. However, before you shut down the idea of a chiropractor to treat herniated discs, read on! chiropractic care can be a great alternative treatments that could help you avoid or postpone surgery.
In more severe herniated disc cases, a discectomy decompression surgery may be the best course of action. However, before going under the knife, it’s important to explore less invasive methods to treating and alleviating your back pain. One avenue to explore is seeing a chiropractor for your herniated disc. In an initial meeting with your chiropractor, he/she will examine you to see if you’re a chiropractic candidate.
Herniated Disc Chiropractic Treatment Techniques
The specifics of what are in your treatment plan are particular to your pain, level of activity, overall health, and what your chiropractor thinks is best. As with any treatment option, don’t hesitate to ask questions about what chiropractic treatments are being recommended and why. You want to make sure you understand what will be done and how it can help relieve your pain. Chiropractic treatment is safe and effective for most patients.
examples of chiropractic techniques used for reduce pain on herniated discs:
Flexion-distraction Technique for Herniated Discs:
Flexion-distraction involves the use of a specialized table that gently “distracts” or stretches the spine. This allows the chiropractor to isolate the affected area while slightly “flexing” the spine using a pumping rhythm.
Pelvic Blocking Techniques for Herniated Discs:
Pelvic blocking treatments include using cushioned wedges, which are placed under each side of the pelvis. Gentle exercises may also be used. These will allow changes in mechanics to draw your disc away from the nerve it may be pressing on.
Chiropractic treatment for bulging or herniated discs is safe, effective, and long lasting. If you are having back pain from a disc problem, you owe it to yourself to seek quality chiropractic care so that you can enjoy less pain, improved mobility, and better quality of life.