If you’ve experienced the intense pain of a herniated disc, you know that it can be incredibly disruptive to everyday life. Just sitting at your desk at the office can be excruciating. That’s why many people look into chiropractic care for herniated discs. And at Chiropractic By Thriveology in Denver, we’ve helped many patients find relief from the pain of herniated discs.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
If you have back pain, leg pain, or weakness of the lower extremity muscles, you may have a herniated disc. This happens when the cushion that sits between the spinal vertebra is pushed outside its normal position. It usually affects people between the ages of 30 and 40.
Herniated discs are painful because the spinal nerves are very close to the edge of the cushioning discs. The pain often starts in the area of the disc and radiates across your hips and buttocks. Sometimes you might feel numbness or pain radiating down your leg to your ankle or foot.
If you have a large herniation you may notice weakness when you extend your big toe or you may have difficulty in walking on your toes or heels. Sometimes you even have changes in your bowel or bladder function, and difficulty with sexual function. A herniated disc can be very painful.
Your discs are comprised of the annulus fibrosus (the tough outer layer) and the nucleus pulposus (which is a soft, gelatin-like center). If your disc has a crack in the outer layer, the material inside of the disc can begin to push out.
What Causes a Herniated Disc?
There are many reasons why a disc may herniate. There could be too much stress on the disc from poor posture or because of being overweight.
You increase your risk of disc herniation by smoking, not exercising, and poor eating habits. In addition, poor posture, daily wear and tear, injury or trauma, and lifting or twisting in the wrong way can further stress your disc. And if your disc is already weakened, it could herniate with a simple movement or strain like coughing, a golf swing, or reaching for something out of the cupboard.
You might sneeze and feel a sharp pain in your back. That pain may extend into your leg and your sciatic nerve. If that happens, you could have unknowingly had an underlying herniated disc and the sneeze just made it worse.
Chiropractic Care for Herniated Discs
If you have a herniated disc, chiropractic care may help relieve your pain. An website can also give you insight into the chiropractic care process and common techniques used for a herniated disc.
Your chiropractor will first look at your neck and the entire spine to examine your posture. They may also require an X-ray or MRI. The chiropractor will be looking for answers to several questions:
· Are your reflexes intact ( your nerves sending messages correctly)?
· Do you feel you have lost muscle strength or is there signs of muscle wasting?
· Have you found you have loss of sensation along the path of a nerve?
A chiropractor can then determine if you have an intervertebral disc injury. Depending on what type of injury you have, the chiropractor will work to develop a plan of recovery that deals with all of the issues that could be contributing to your pain.
At Chiropractic By Thriveology in Denver, we’re a Holistic Wellness Center. We believe that the body is designed to be healthy and that it has an innate ability to heal itself. During your first appointment for chiropractic care for herniated discs, we’ll talk to you about your medical history, complete a physical exam, and possibly perform both orthopedic and neurological tests.
With a better understanding of your unique injury, our individualized treatment plan will be based on its severity as well as your level of pain, how active you are, and your overall health and medical history.
Your treatment plan may include several proven chiropractic techniques used for herniated discs such as spinal manipulations, which are better known as adjustments. We’ll also offer various other chiropractic techniques like therapeutic exercises to help ease the pain of your herniated disc. We’ll explain all parts of the plan, why they are being recommended and the expected results.
Flexion-Distraction Technique for Herniated Discs
The flexion-distraction technique is used in chiropractic care for herniated discs. This involves a specialized table that gently distracts or stretches the spine. This helps isolate the affected area while slightly flexing the spine using a sort of pumping rhythm.
Flexion-distraction is a painless technique that helps the center of the intervertebral disc (the nucleus pulposus) resume its central position in the disc and it may also improve disc height. It moves the disc away from the nerve, which helps reduce the inflammation of the nerve root, and any associated pain and inflammation into the leg.
If the chiropractor recommends flexion-distraction, you will be scheduled for a series of treatments along with other therapy options such as adjunctive ultrasound, muscle stimulation, physiotherapy, supplementation, and additional at-home treatments.
Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA)
Another technique that may also be used for your herniated disc is manipulation under anesthesia or MUA. MUA is done at an ambulatory care center or hospital. You will receive a type of anesthesia called twilight sleep, where the duration of sedation is limited to about six minutes. While you are sedated and relaxed, your chiropractor will stretch and manipulate the treatment area. You will probably be scheduled for one to three sessions about two to four weeks apart.
Pelvic Blocking Techniques for Herniated Discs
Pelvic blocking is another way to treat herniated disc symptoms. It uses cushioned wedges placed under each side of the pelvis. The goal is to draw your disc away from the nerve it may be pressing on.
Our chiropractic team of specialists at Chiropractic By Thriveology in Denver offers you knowledgeable and professional chiropractic care for herniated discs. Let us help you find relief from the painful symptoms of your herniated disc and live a fuller life. Call today to make an appointment and let’s get you on the path to wellness.