Herniated discs are an incredibly painful and debilitating condition that can be a huge hindrance in your daily life.
Fortunately, there are numerous herniated disc treatment options available to you. One such option that has gained attention over the years is chiropractic care.
The crux of chiropractic treatment is to properly align your spine so your body can function properly, minimizing pain and discomfort while also preventing further injuries. This makes it an appealing, non-invasive choice for herniated disc treatment.
Read on to learn more about chiropractic care and herniated discs.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
The bones in your vertebrae are stacked in a vertical line with rubbery cushions sitting between them. These cushions are your discs.
When some of the softer, more jelly-like center (the nucleus) pushes out through the more tough, rubbery exterior, it is called a herniated disc, slipped disc, or ruptured disc. The disc is misaligned and puts undue pressure on your nerves causing you pain and discomfort.
This can occur in any part of your spine, but it is most common in the lower back. Some people won’t feel any symptoms, but for those who do, it’s common to feel numbness or weakness in your arms or legs as well as sharp or shooting pains when you cough or make certain movements.
A herniated disc can happen over time as the discs naturally degenerate with age, but it can also be caused by a single traumatic incident—such as a car accident.
What Are Common Types of Herniated Disc Treatment?
There are numerous options when it comes to herniated disc treatment, and they vary based on the severity of your injury and your symptoms.
For less severe injuries, rest and hot/cold therapy might be all that is needed. Over the counter pain medications can also help temporarily relieve pain and inflammation.
These treatments are more to relieve your symptoms rather than the condition itself.
When it comes to treating the symptoms of your herniated disc (and hopefully preventing further damage), more drastic treatments are needed like physical therapy, massage, and strengthening exercises.
If none of these provide lasting relief or your herniated disc is too advanced, invasive procedures might be recommended.
A selective nerve root block (SNRB) is a minimally invasive injection that interrupts the pain signals between your spinal nerves and brain. Similarly, steroid injections can also help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
Finally, if you are having difficulty standing or walking or your pain is persisting despite treatment, surgery may be recommended. Some common surgical treatments for herniated disc are microdiscectomy, laminectomy, or spinal fusion.
A microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove the portion of the herniated disc that is putting pressure on your nerve. A laminectomy is the removal of a small portion of the vertebral bone to relieve pressure. Finally, spinal fusion is the joining together of two or more vertebrae together to stabilize the spine.
Ultimately, the treatment course you take will depend on your overall health, your symptoms, and your past treatment.
How Does a Chiropractor Treat a Herniated Disc?
Many forms of traditional herniated disc treatment are about dealing with your pain and nothing more.
Chiropractic treatment however takes it a step further. Chiropractic care is a holistic process, meaning the goal of treatment is to not only alleviate your pain and symptoms but to also treat the root cause of your injury and prevent further similar injuries.
In your initial assessment, a chiropractor will fully evaluate your medical history and the history of your herniated disc, in particular the cause of it or length of time it’s been affecting you.
This helps to determine the extent of the injury and its impact on the rest of your spine. They will test to see if your reflexes are still intact and if you’re showing any signs of muscle weakness or loss of nerve sensation.
Your unique treatment plan will depend on the severity of your herniated disc. A chiropractor may use spinal adjustments to properly align your spine, reduce the pressure on your disc, and restore normal spinal motion.
This can help your body function to its full potential which also helps your buddy to heal itself and prevent further injuries.
Other treatments your chiropractor might recommend include massage therapy to relax muscles surrounding the disc, spinal traction, and specific stretching and flexibility exercises to improve the health of your spine.
The Flexion-Distraction technique is a spinal decompression method that can be helpful when it comes to treating herniated discs with chiropractic care. It involves using a specialized table to gently stretch your spine while the chiropractor isolates the affected area.
Chiropractic care goes beyond the clinic, however. Because chiropractic care is focused on total body healing, your chiropractor might recommend home exercises, posture correction, or even lifestyle changes to maintain your spine’s health.
One of the greatest benefits of chiropractic care as herniated disc treatment is that it is natural and non-invasive. You won’t have to take medication or spend time in recovery before you can begin getting back to your normal life. But it’s important that you begin your treatment early.
Whether you gradually begin feeling numbness or tingling in your arms or legs or you’ve recently suffered a fall and you’re having pain in your lower back, book an appointment with a chiropractor as soon as possible. Most often, early detection is the best tool for relief.
Get the Relief You Need from Lakes Chiropractic & Wellness
At Lakes Chiropractic & Wellness, our goal is to provide you with the relief you need as quickly as possible.
We have a well-trained and experienced staff ready to evaluate your symptoms and devise a treatment program designed specifically for you.
We’ve treated patients of all ages and dealt with numerous symptoms and ailments, and we’re confident we can provide you with the relief you need.
Schedule an appointment today, and get the relief you need.