Updated: Sep 8, 2020
DO YOU HAVE A HERNIATED DISC? At Pure Alignment Chiropractic in DeLand, we understand just how painful and difficult it can be to suffer from herniated disc. While this condition can be very painful, it is commonly treatable without surgery and Chiropractic care is one of the most popular alternative treatments used to treat it.
What is a herniated disc? A herniated disc or bulging disc is a condition where a disc protrudes outside of the normal radius of the spine. A spinal disc is a comparable to a jelly donut, with a softer center covered within a tough exterior. Sometimes called a slipped disc or a ruptured disc, a herniated disc occurs when some of the softer "jelly" pushes out through a tear in the tougher exterior. A person suffering from this condition may not even know there is anything wrong until the bulging disc presses on a nerve in the spinal column and start causing excruciating pain. Depending on the location on the spine, a herniated disc can cause pain and loss of range of motion.
What are the symptoms of disc problems? Most herniated discs occur in your lower back (lumbar spine), although they can also occur in your neck (cervical spine). A herniated disc can irritate nearby nerves and can result in:
Back or neck pain
Leg or arm pain
Numbness or tingling in the extremities
Tenderness of the spine and/or surrounding muscles
You also can have a herniated disc without knowing it — herniated discs sometimes show up on spinal images of people who have no symptoms of a disc problem.
What causes herniated discs?
A disc herniates or ruptures when part of the center nucleus pushes through the outer edge of the disc and back toward the spinal canal. This puts pressure on the nerves. Spinal nerves are very sensitive to even slight amounts of pressure, which can result in pain, numbness, or weakness in one or both legs or arms. Most people can’t pinpoint the exact cause of their herniated disc.
Here are some of the most common causes:
Disc Degeneration: herniation is most often the result of a gradual, aging-related wear and tear called disc degeneration. As you age, your spinal discs become less flexible due to loss of water content and elasticity. This makes discs and more susceptible to tearing or rupturing with even a minor strain or twist.
Improper lifting techniques: Twisting and turning while lifting or using your back muscles instead of your leg muscles to lift heavy objects can cause discs to herniate.
Trauma: A traumatic event like as a fall or a blow to the back can cause a herniated disc.
Poor Posture: There may be too much stress on the disc due to poor posture or from being overweight
Repetitive Stresses: Strenuous or awkward repetitive twisting, lifting, and bending. This is often associated with workplace/job duties.
What are the treatments for herniated discs? As always, we first and foremost recommend trying a preventative approach to avoid herniated discs. The best way to do that is to implement regular exercise, good posture, and maintaining a healthy weight. It will also help you to be very conscious of caring for your spine. Lifting objects with proper posture, bending your knees, and lifting with your legs will help you immensely!
But if you do suffer with a herniated disc, there are some non-invasive options available:
Ice and heat therapy for pain relief
Exercise and gentle stretching to help relieve pressure on the nerve root
Chiropractic spinal manipulation can be a safe and effective tool in the management of disc problems
We have seen lots of practice members at our office for this very condition. We have also found that Chiropractic adjustments are especially effective when combined with therapeutic exercise and specific stretches.
Benefits of Chiropractic for herniated discs
Drug-Free Pain Relief- Pain relief drug medications can be extremely addictive. Chiropractic care offers relief from pain without the need for any addictive drugs or medications and heals the body from within and not just masking the pain.
Reduces Inflammation- Chiropractic adjustments relieve pressure on the nervous system and helps the body release anti-inflammatory substance, which reduces inflammation and alleviates pain.
Chiropractors evaluate the entire spine- Even if you only have lower back pain, your chiropractor will examine your neck, too, for example. He or she wants to see how well your spine is functioning overall, and remember: What happens in one area of your spine can influence other parts of your spine and/or body.
All of this is important because getting you back on your feet and moving as quickly and safely as possible is critical.
The specifics of what is in your treatment plan are particular to your pain, level of activity, overall health, and your health goals. Chiropractic treatment is safe and effective for most patients. Dr. Kat will discuss this with you when you come into our office.
Are you ready to take the next step in your health? Call us to book your first appointment today!