Can chiropractors help you if you have a herniated disc?
Suffering from a herniated disk is one of the most painful experiences. Solely relying upon medications and bed rest is not a solution at all. It demands proper chiropractic care and adherence to the specifications prescribed by the chiropractor.
Chiropractic treatment for a herniated disc usually involves reducing the excess pressure on the spinal nerves owing to a broken intervertebral disc by incorporating tailored techniques and manual techniques and therapies. Free from any sort of surgical or medical intervention, chiropractic care promises a lasting recovery from disc herniation.
Before we go ahead, let’s dive into the nature and cause of this disc herniation and then get to know about its treatment from the best Los Angeles chiropractor.
- The Spinal cord that runs down the entire back acts as a foundation for the whole body. It is responsible for providing support and maintaining the entire body’s posture.
- Throughout the spinal cord, a vertebra is positioned that helps in the moment of the spine during all physical activities. In between each vertebra, except the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2) that are the first two vertebrae in the neck region, an intervertebral disc is placed.
- Each of these discs is a cushion of fibrocartilage and connects two vertebrae as a principal joint to form the spine.
- These discs act as shock absorbers and provide stability and flexibility to the entire spine. To make it simple, it works as a shield for the spine against all sorts of jerks and shocks that the back has to bear.
- These IVDs have a very tough outer covering of fibrous, fibrocartilaginous tissue. In addition, a gel-like substance known as nucleus pulposus is stored at the center of each disc.
- It is composed of 80% water and a loose network of collagen fibers. It allows the vertebral disc to endure forces of compression and torsion to ensure that the spine does not get collapse to such sudden external forces.
- For the spine to be intact, it’s imperative for all these three elements, i.e., the vertebrae, the disc, and the gel-like substance, to be firmly positioned and not interfere with the spinal nerves.
- In some cases, the hard and enduring outer layer of the disc gets weak and eventually, broke down. Possible reasons could be:
- A sudden jerk while lifting a heavyweight or stumbling
- High level of lethargy
- Intense muscle tension in between the vertebrae
- Wrong posture while sitting or doing exercise
- Penetration of the disc’s outer layer forces the gel-like liquid (nucleus pulposus) that it summons within to push out from the disc slowly.
- Once this liquid collides with the spinal nerves that are branched throughout the spine, it causes the disc to herniate, and the patient is bound to feel a tingling pain.
- The patient only feels soreness or pain in the lower back region. But as the situation deteriorates, the pain can even damage muscles in the glutes and the hamstring.
- In the worst-case scenario, the condition can be so severe that pain can get triggered simply due to sneezing.
- Unlike occasional lower back pain, Disc Herniation can’t be cured by simply applying ice bags, hot water bottles, or other home remedies. If you want a permanent recovery from Disc Herniation, then resorting to chiropractic care is a smart move.
- At your first visit, the chiropractor will have a short Q&A session with you where he will ask about your past medical history and a brief understanding of your pain.
- If required, the chiropractor can get your X-ray or MRI done to have better insights about the injury and the severity of the pain before starting the treatment.
- Chiropractic treatment for re-locating the herniated disc usually begin with the chiropractor initiating specific therapeutic techniques such as:
- Spinal Manipulation
- Slight stretching
- Manual therapy
- Besides these routine drills and techniques, a few methods were specially designed to recuperate the damaged disc to cure the herniated disc.
- Flexion-distraction Technique: If you have approached a chiropractor due to disc herniation, then there is a chance that you will come across this equipment.
- In this technique, a specialized table manipulates the released nucleus pulposus to compel it to retreat to its original position.
- The table is designed so that it gently stretches or distracts the spine. Quite similar to spinal manipulation, the only difference being instead of hands, it entails the usage of specialized equipment.
- The gentle stretch applied by the mechanism of the table flexes the spine using a pumping rhythm.
- Utterly devoid of pain or uneasiness, the gentle pumping allows the leaked-out nucleus pulposus to flow back to the center of the disc and assume its original position. This eventually mitigates the nerve irritation (owing to the interference by the liquid) and eases down the pain.
- Further, it also repairs the broken outer layer of the disc so that the liquid remains intact and properly positioned.
- To ensure the efficacy of this technique, chiropractors usually complement it with several other therapies such as
- Muscle stimulation
- In-house therapies and drills
- Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA): The treatment process for this technique entails giving anesthesia called ‘twilight sleep’. The sleep duration induced by this particular anesthesia is usually short, not more than 6 to 10 minutes.
- During the short sleep, the body relaxes, and the chiropractor performs the manipulation and stretching to re-function the spine in a stable way. It usually takes 2-3 sessions with a gap of 2-4 weeks to improve the patient’s condition.
- Pelvic Blocking Techniques for Herniated Discs: This technique involves using cushioned wedges by placing them under each side of the pelvis. Over time, it pushes the interfering disc away from the spinal nerve and reduces muscle inflammation.
A herniated disc is undoubtedly a catastrophic side of having lower back pain. It deprives the concerned person of his night’s sleep and the day’s peace. Pain killers and medications will just provide short-term relief from this pain, besides gifting some unwanted side effects.
To eradicate this pain from the very root cause, proper and specialized chiropractic care is not an option but a necessity.
Book a call today with the best Los Angeles Chiropractor to treat your herniated disc pain and other musculoskeletal problems.
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