Disc herniation affects millions of people every year, and if you’re one of those people, you know just how painful and debilitating the condition can be. Fortunately, there are several ways to treat herniated discs, and if you’re looking for a conservative, non-invasive treatment option, chiropractic care can help.
What exactly can a chiropractor do to help improve the pain and mobility impairments caused by herniated discs? Read on to find out.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
Before we dive into chiropractic care for disc herniations, let’s go over what exactly a herniated disc is, and why it can be so debilitating. According to MedlinePlus.gov, a herniated spinal disc is a disc that’s had its soft, inner gelatinous material (called the nucleus pulposus) forced out through a weakened portion of its tough outer layer (called the annulus fibrosis).
Disc herniations can be highly painful and debilitating because nerves branch out from the spinal column, and protruding disc material can put pressure on those nerves. When that happens, the nerve can become pinched, which may result in painful symptoms and partial loss of nerve function.
What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
Herniated discs can cause a wide variety of symptoms depending on the location and severity of the herniation. You may be suffering from a herniated disc if you’ve been experiencing any of the following issues:
● Radiating numbness or tingling in a body part that the affected nerve or nerves serve.
● Burning or sharp pains that radiate from your neck to your shoulder or arm. These pains may be more pronounced when you cough or sneeze.
● Pain that radiates from your lower back to your buttock or the back of your leg. You may have pain in your foot as well (
● Muscle weakness in the area(s) that the affected nerve or nerves serve.
It’s also possible to have a disc herniation that doesn’t produce noticeable symptoms. Only medical imaging can accurately determine if and where a herniated disc exists.
What Can a Chiropractor Do for Herniated Discs?
An experienced chiropractor can help address the pain and mobility impairments associated with disc herniations. But what a chiropractor will do specifically for you depends on your symptoms, the location of the herniation, and what they find during your initial examination.
During your physical exam, your chiropractor will perform a variety of tests to determine if the affected nerves are sending messages as they should. He’ll check for loss of sensation along the path of the affected nerve(s), as well as loss of muscle strength or atrophy (loss of muscle mass).
He’ll also assess your posture, gait, and movement patterns to determine how the affected nerves should be treated to achieve optimal healing, pain relief, and mobility improvements. Imaging may also be conducted to get a clear picture of what’s going on with your spine. From there, your chiropractor will develop a personalized treatment plan designed to gently address your injury.
Spinal adjustments help realign vertebrae that have moved outside of their normal position, which can help alleviate discomfort, tingling, and numbness. Heat and ice therapy can also help improve pain and inflammation, so your provider may include these things in your treatment plan. Movement-based massage can help soothe and relax highly contracted muscles that may also be contributing to painful nerve compression.
For more info on the most common types of chiropractic care, check out 5 Chiropractic Treatment Techniques and How They Help Your Body Thrive.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Chiropractic Treatment for Disc Herniation?
During your initial exam, your chiropractor will let you know if you’re a candidate for chiropractic care or if should see a different kind of specialist for help.
Who Shouldn’t See a Chiropractor for Herniated Discs?
If your chiropractor finds that you’re experiencing an advanced loss of strength, sensation, or reflexes during your initial exam, you may not be a good candidate for further chiropractor care.
While non-invasive treatment modalities like chiropractic adjustments and complementary therapies can help many people with protruding spinal discs, they’re not appropriate for everyone. Some disc herniations necessitate surgical intervention, so depending on the severity of your injury, you may need to see a spine surgeon for more advanced treatment.
Get Highly Personalized Chiropractic Care in New Hope, MN
If you’re suffering from painful disc herniation anywhere along your spine, our team at Bomberg Chiropractic in New Hope, MN would love to help you get out of pain.
We specialize in gentle, manual adjustments and activator technique, as well as a wide variety of complementary, healing therapies, including movement-based massage and Graston Technique. We also offer affordable cash payment options and payment plans, and your initial exam and first adjustment are free of charge.
To learn more about our services or schedule a free consultation, give us a call today at 763-450-1755 or send us a message with your questions or concerns, and we’ll be in touch.