Are you looking for a non-surgical treatment option for a herniated disc? Yes? Then you are in the right place! Chiropractic care may be just the conservative option you’re looking for.
To begin, let’s discuss what exactly a disc is and also what it means to be herniated. Between the vertebrae that make up your spine, there are intervertebral discs. These discs provide cushioning and flexibility to the vertebrae in your spine. A tough outer layer and a gelatinous center make up your discs. Think of soft shrimp meat wrapped in rubber bands or of a jelly doughnut.
When a disc is said to be “herniated,” it means a crack or weakening in the tough outer layer has occurred. This allows the soft material inside the disc to push, or bulge out. The herniated disc pushes into the space in which the spinal cord resides. This is your spinal canal. It can also impinge. or push upon your spinal nerve roots. Nerve irritation is what causes your pain.
Pain from a herniated disc can be described as:
- numbness, tingling, or burning
- pain radiating into the arms or legs
- pain that worsens with certain movements such as sitting, standing, or walking
- unexplained muscle weakness
Many factors can cause a herniated disc. Anything from a physical injury, to twisting & turning while lifting an object, poor posture, being overweight, etc. can cause a disc to herniate.
Your chiropractor can perform several tests and checks if she feels you may be suffering from a disc herniation. Furthermore, X-rays or an MRI may be ordered if she feels they are necessary to diagnose a herniated disc. A mild-moderate herniation may benefit from chiropractic care.
A spinal manipulation, or adjustment, to the spine can help alleviate your symptoms. Using a special table in our office, we are also able to perform a flexion-distraction technique that can address your symptoms. This table gently stretches, or distracts, the spine while simultaneously flexing the spine using a slight pumping motion. This stretching and flexing can help the disc return to its correct position. This can help with reducing nerve irritation & inflammation, and ultimately reducing pain associated with the herniation.
Generally, a series of treatments with the flexion-distraction table, along with spinal manipulations, and often other therapies (ultrasound, electronic muscle stimulation, stretches/exercises) can be a great option for treating a mild-moderate disc herniation. As always, our qualified Doctors will assess your condition. She will then prescribe the best treatment plan for your specific case. In the event of a severely herniated disc, or a disc that is not improving with a conservative course of treatment, our Doctors can advise you on more aggressive treatment options.