Living with Herniated Discs
Disc herniations or disc protrusions are not pleasant. They can cause severe pain in the lower back, muscle spasms, pain radiating down the legs, and even prevent you from standing up straight. Your quality of life can be severely impacted by a disc problem.
Many people seek chiropractic care for treatment of disc herniations or disc protrusions. But what exactly is the treatment that a chiropractor will do for a person with herniated disc? First we need to break down what exactly is the issue.
Understanding Spinal Anatomy and Proper Care
In between every vertebra, with exception of C1 and C2, (the atlas and axis) the top two bones in the spinal column, is a disc filled with fluid, designed to absorb shock and to create space in each intervertebral joint. Surrounding the disc is a layer of fibrocartilage known as the annulus fibrosis. This is the tissue that becomes compromised when there is a disc prolapse or herniation. Essentially what happens is the disc tears, allowing the contents inside the disc(the nucleus pulposus) to protrude outwardly, often times irritating nerves exiting out of the spine, which can at times be very painful or cause motor(muscle) weakness or dysfunction or disturbances in the autonomic nervous system as well, which is responsible for governing the functions of the organs and systems inside the body
In our office we take care of many patients from Charlotte, Concord, and Huntersville with disc problems. In order to best determine whether you are a candidate for chiropractic care a thorough consultation and exam are necessary. We utilize a comprehensive approach to address your situation as well as make your body stronger and healthier so that we can minimize the likelihood of a repeat injury. We will make sure you know exactly how we can help you and what to expect as you start the process to get yourself back to health.
Our goal is not only that you feel better, but to get you back to enjoying a quality life.
So what should you do if you are experiencing symptoms or have been diagnosed with a disc herniation?
Often times people believe that the only choice of treatment is surgery for disc herniations. While this is certainly a treatment option many times you can prevent having to cut through and repair tissue by seeking chiropractic care. In fact, chiropractic has been shown to be as effective or better than surgery when it comes to treating acute or even chronic disc herniations. According to a study in the Journal of Manipulative Physiologic Therapeutics in March of 2014, 90% of patients having low back or leg pain due to a lumbar disc herniation, chronic or acute, reported improvement 3 months after treatment and 88% still had improvements 1 year after treatment. In addition, patients reported no adverse side effects to treatment.
How does chiropractic care help?
The Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care is effective for many reasons. The goal of chiropractic care is to restore normal neurologic function to the body by removing stress on the nervous system effecting the way your body can self heal and self regulate. Specifically with disc issues, certain techniques that we utilize in our office can traction, or separate, the joints of the spine, which takes pressure off of the affected discs. This traction approach also creates a negative pressure in the disc allowing for protrusions to be resorbed back into the disc space.