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Chiropractor Treatment for Slipped Disc

29 July 2013  |  Admin

Market Harborough Chiropractor treatment for “Slipped Disc”
Written By, On July 29, 2013

In the Market Harborough Chiropractic Care and Back Pain Clinic we see many people with disc injuries here we discuss the non-invasive treatment for Bulging, Ruptured, or Herniated Discs (Slipped Discs)

Chiropractic care is a non-surgical treatment option for herniated discs. But what is a chiropractor’s approach to treating a herniated disc? Before we get to that, we need a quick review of what a herniated disc is.

What Is a “Slipped” Disc? Is It the Same as a Herniated Disc?
There is an intervertebral disc between each vertebra of the spine. Discs do not act as a shock absorber but as a shock distributor, the discs provide cushioning effect to protect the spine but at higher loads the disc themselves are damaged. Running effectively over loads the discs and it is common to see extensive damage to the spine in people who run long distance on a regular basis.

Imagine if you jump up and down. What would happen to the stack of bony vertebrae that make up the spine without the cushioning and support of these discs? Now, move your back from side to side. Again, you can visualize the give and take of the discs between the vertebrae. Without these discs, your spine couldn’t function.

At The Chiropractic Clinic in Market Harborough and at The Chiropractic Clinic in Melton Mowbray we commonly have patients presenting with “slipped-discs”. Discs don’t really “slip”—although the phrase “slipped disc” has come into popular usage to refer to bulging, ruptured, or herniated discs. Throughout this article, we’ll refer to herniated discs, which is the more correct term.

Your discs are made up of the annulus fibrosus (the tough outer layer) and the nucleus pulposus (which contains a soft, gelatin-like center). When cracks occur in the outer layer of the disc, the material inside of the disc can begin to push out. Numerous factors can cause a disc to herniate.

For example, there may be too much stress on the disc due to poor posture or from being overweight. Obviously your job has a big influence on the damage you can do to discs over years and years. Heavy lifting is always thought to be a major factor but it is not the weight that is important but the repetitive lifting or twisting that causes most damage.

Can Sneezing Cause a Herniated Disc?
For many people with back pain caused by a the spine being in a weakened condition (ie, herniated disc), the problem starts off small and then gradually builds until you start to feel symptoms. Spinal discs suffer from various stages of disc degeneration, until one day you sneeze and the weakened disc ruptures.

For example, let’s say you sneeze and feel a sudden, sharp pain in your back. Then that pain progresses into leg pain. You may have had an underlying herniated disc, and the sneeze was what triggered it to progress. So, yes: a sneeze (or a cough) can herniate an intervertebral disc, but not a healthy disc.

Chiropractic Care and Herniated Discs
A chiropractor can help address back pain and other herniated disc symptoms.

At your initial appointment, your chiropractor will go through your medical history, do a physical exam, and perform orthopaedic and neurological tests.

Your chiropractor will look for several things.

Are the reflexes intact? That is: are your nerves sending messages correctly? (The classic reflex test is when the doctor taps your knee with a small hammer and your leg kicks up.)
Is there loss of muscle strength or signs of muscle wasting?
Is there loss of sensation along the path of a nerve?
These are important questions the orthopaedic and neurological exams can help your chiropractor answer.

The chiropractor will also carefully look at your posture, and he or she may order an x-ray or MRI, if necessary, to help with the diagnostic process.

Chiropractors evaluate the entire spine. Even if you only have lower back pain, your chiropractor will often examine your neck too. He or she wants to see how well your spine is functioning overall, and remember: What happens in one area of your spine can influence other parts of your spine and/or body.

After reviewing this information, your chiropractor can determine if you have an intervertebral disc injury. The type of disc injury you have will determine what treatments your chiropractor will use to address your symptoms.

Some patients are not good candidates for some types of chiropractic care treatments. For example, if you have cauda equina syndrome (a condition in which you lose control of your bowel/bladder with an accompanying intervertebral disc injury), then you will need immediate medical care as this is something that cannot be treated by your chiropractor.

In addition, if your chiropractor finds that you have advanced loss of strength, sensation, reflexes, and other unusual neurological findings, then he or she will refer you for possible surgery.

However, most intervertebral disc injuries are related to a herniated disc, and your chiropractor can provide you with various treatment options to address your pain and other symptoms.

To treat a herniated disc, your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan that may include spinal manipulation and other chiropractic techniques to help ease your herniated disc symptoms. This will be an individualized treatment plan, but it may include manual therapy and therapeutic exercises.

The specifics of what are in your treatment plan are particular to your pain, level of activity, overall health, and what your chiropractor thinks is best. As with any treatment option, don’t hesitate to ask questions about what chiropractic treatments are being recommended and why. You want to make sure you understand what will be done and how it can help relieve your pain

It is important to keep an eye on any nerve symtoms so as to avoid permanent nerve damage. Your chiropractor will monitor you throughout the treatment plan.

Pelvic Blocking Techniques for Herniated Discs
Chiropractors also use pelvic blocking techniques to treat herniated disc symptoms.

Pelvic blocking treatments include using cushioned wedges, which are placed under each side of the pelvis. Gentle exercises may also be used. These will allow changes in mechanics to draw your disc away from the nerve it may be pressing on.

Will Chiropractic Care Help Your Herniated Disc?
It’s a misconception that chiropractors “pop a disc back in place” using forceful adjustments. Another misconception is that chiropractic care involves a few quick treatments, which can “fix” your disc. Instead, as explained above, chiropractors treat herniated discs using gentle low-force techniques.

Your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan for your herniated disc, and if your symptoms do not improve with chiropractic care techniques, your chiropractor may recommend a consultation with a spine surgeon.

If you have concerns about disc injuries or can a chiropractor treat herniated discs please call the chiropractor in either the Chiropractic Clinic in Market Harborough or The Chiropractic Clinic in Melton Mowbray and they will give you some advice.

Call Melton Mowbray Clinic: 01664 561199
Call Market Harborough Clinic: 01858 414841

The Chiropractic Clinic

Market Harborough & Melton Mowbray