Herniated Disc Treatment
Spinal discs are ligament-like rings between the vertebrae of the spine that provide cushioning and protect the spinal column. A herniated disc (sometimes referred to as a “slipped disc” or “bulging disc”) occurs when the thick cartilage covering of the spinal disc develops a significant tear, allowing the jelly-like nucleus liquid inside the disc to spill into the spinal canal.
When pain occurs as a result of a herniated disc, it often is caused when the protruding disc presses against nerve roots. Herniated disc is one known cause of sciatica, as a result of pressure on the sciatic nerve roots. This is known as radicular pain, or nerve root pain.
What causes a herniated disc?
As we grow older, our spinal structure gradually changes. For example, our joints may calcify, discs deteriorate as a result of wear and tear, or the spine may develop osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. A herniated disc is commonly a result of normal wear and tear, but it also can be caused by traumatic injury to the back. It is important to note that not all spinal disc defects cause pain, and in fact, straining a muscle in the back can cause pain comparable to pain from a herniated disc.
How to get relief from a herniated disc:
If you are suffering from a herniated disc, there are several steps you can take at home to reduce the pain:
- Keep moving. Bed rest or lack of activity can worsen your pain.
- Alternate ice and heat treatments, which can be very effective in relieving acute pain.
- Exercise. Depending on the location of your herniated disc, your doctor of chiropractic can recommend specific exercises.
- Maintain good posture. Make sure you are sitting, standing, lifting, or doing other physical activities with your body properly aligned.
Chiropractic Treatment for a Herniated Disc:
Chiropractic manipulation is a gentle and safe method to realign and repair the body without the need for pain-relieving drugs or surgery.
Your Chiropractor can recommend and work with you on specific exercises.
BEGIN WITH CONSERVATIVE CARE
Disc herniations can heal, but not overnight. Chiropractic is a noninvasive, conservative alternative to traditional medical treatment, which can include pain-relieving drugs and surgery. By using therapies such as spinal manipulation and disc decompression, pressure is taken off of the disc allowing it to heal.
The current standard of practice for Disc Herniations recommends four six weeks of conservative care, such as chiropractic, prior to a surgical consult.