Chiropractor for Herniated Disc
Herniated discs can be incredibly painful. So much so that many people first go to the emergency room! While there is no “cure” for a herniated disc, you can find pain relief and reduce the pressure on the nerve that is overly stimulated from the herniated disc with chiropractic care.
Herniated discs and chiropractors go together like hand and glove. Herniated disc treatment from Better Health Chiropractic includes our exclusive Alaska Back Pain Protocol method, which offers a long-term synergistic result to low back pain issues.
Our treatment plan includes a variety of options, depending on the patient’s needs, such as chiropractic care, the DRS system, and rehabilitative therapy, as well as other modalities, such as infrared, ultrasound, or electronic muscle stimulation and chiropractic massage for fast healing that feels good!
The Alaska Back Pain Protocol method has offered pain relief to thousands of Alaskans just like you, with herniated discs and other back pain problems.
What Does a Chiropractor Do for a Herniated Disc? What are the treatment options for a herniated disc?
Many people ask, “Can a chiropractor help a herniated disc?” The answer is a definite yes! Your chiropractor will address and reduce the pain and other symptoms that come with a herniated disc.
Even if you are having only back pain or lower back pain, your chiropractor will evaluate the entire spine, see if you have a loss of sensation along the nerve path or if you have a loss of muscle strength or weakness in a certain area. This is because what happens in one part of your spine can affect the other parts, including your neck.
A herniated disc is treated by your chiropractor through multiple methods, including spinal manipulation (often called adjustments), therapeutic exercises, modalities, including flexion-distraction technique, and manual therapy, such as chiropractic massage.
Your exact treatment plan will depend on several things, including your overall health, your physical condition, where the herniated disc is located, and more.
When to See a Chiropractor for a Herniated Disc?
Chances are that the first clue you have a herniated disc is when it happens. The pain is so sudden and so intense, most people are unable to stand upright, some say they cannot breathe, and nearly everyone goes to the emergency room for some pain medication.
You should see your chiropractor as soon as you can. Make an appointment the moment you return from the ER. If the ER did imaging, bring those along, otherwise, your chiropractor’s office should be able to do imaging to confirm the diagnosis.
Starting treatment sooner, rather than later, will put you on the road to healing that much faster. Herniated discs can take months to heal and even longer if you take a wait and see approach, lying on the sofa and popping over the counter pain meds.
Lying down only makes things worse, believe it or not. Make an appointment at Better Health Chiropractic for a same-day appointment and start feeling better sooner than you think!
Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab opened its first clinic in East Anchorage as Better Health Pain & Wellness Centers in the summer of 1998. Since then, we have opened three more clinics in Midtown/South Anchorage, Juneau, and now Wasilla! If you find yourself searching for a friendly “chiropractor near me”, we cordially invite you to call or stop by any of our convenient locations.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
Great question! It can be frustrating for people because there’s no universal definition and many different terms are associated – ruptured disc, slipped disc, collapsed disc, and so forth. How is a herniated disc different from a bulging disc? For general purposes, this quote from a Spine-Health.com video does a good job of summarizing,
“A herniated disc occurs when the outer portion of a spinal disc breaks down and the inner portion leaks out. The inner portion of the disc that extrudes can then irritate or compress nearby nerves, causing radiating pain.”
What Are the Symptoms of Herniated Disc?
If you’re wondering how to tell if you have a herniated disc, it’s the pain, which usually happens in the lower back (lumbar) or neck (cervical) areas of the spine. When in the lumbar area, you may experience pain that radiates down the leg due to nerve impingement – sciatica pain & numbness or pain in the big toe and ankle. For cervical discs, you can experience pain or weakness from your shoulders down through the hands and into specific fingers.
What Are the Treatment Options for a Herniated Disc?
For those wondering if there’s a cure for a herniated disc, the answer is yes! At Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab, once you’ve received a clinical diagnosis based on symptoms, a physical examination, and medical history, we’ll design a custom noninvasive multidisciplinary treatment program that can incorporate elements of chiropractic care, physical therapy for herniated disc, perhaps an inversion table for herniated disc, and massage therapy to restore proper spinal health. In more severe cases options like injections, NSAIDs, and oral steroids are considered.
Which Body Parts Do Herniated Discs Affect?
Below are the four areas of the back or spine where disc herniation can occur. Technically, any disc may become herniated, and when this happens nearby nerves can produce pain or have an impact on relevant parts of the body. This could be the legs, arms, chest, neck, and so on.
- Lumbar Disc Herniation
- Cervical Disc Herniation
- Thoracic Disc Herniation
- Paracentral Disc Herniation
Herniated Disc Exercises
Generally, you want to try and take it easy on your spine. Avoid intense strength conditioning, or lifting heavy weight via squats, upright rows, or deadlift-style lifts. Instead, focus on dynamic stretching and less demanding aerobic exercises (biking, walking, hiking, etc.). If you’re interested, yoga and pilates are great because you’re working your abdomen, improving posture, increasing flexibility and core body strength all at once! Beyond this, you can incorporate specialized physical therapy exercises to alleviate herniated disk pain.
Stretches for Herniated Disc
Yes, stretching is a fabulous idea and can improve herniated disc pain relief by leaps and bounds. The goal with the stretches is to relieve pressure on the herniated disc and restore proper alignment and flexibility. Here are five of the more popular stretches for herniated disc pain you can do yourself at home anytime.
- Standing Back Extensions
- Wall Hamstring Stretches
- Cat & Cows
- Basic Chest Raises
- Lower Back Stretches
How Long Does a Herniated Disc Take to Heal?
As you might’ve guessed, there’s no universal answer to this question because it depends on your particular condition, your individual body, and your medical history. Technically, sometimes herniated discs can 'take care of themselves' without medical intervention, but often people confuse symptoms with causes. Pain can subside over time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the disc has healed itself. Symptoms may come and go over time. This is why it’s imperative to get examined, diagnosed and then checked up on by a chiropractic doctor.
What Happens if a Herniated Disc Goes Untreated?
This is a very important question. As with most medical conditions, if you don’t address your herniated disk it could evolve into a more serious situation – from not needing surgery, to needing it. Or, you may experience permanent nerve damage to the affected area which itself could have serious consequences. It’s far better to stop by a chiropractic clinic and get checked out, diagnosed, and treated with safe, nonsurgical methods.
What Is the Difference Between Herniated Disc & Bulging Disc?
Because there’s no universal definition, depending on your doctor these could mean the same thing. In a general sense, a bulging disc hasn’t broken through and remains contained within the annulus fibrosis. A herniated disc, on the other hand, extends outside the annulus (uncontained) and into surrounding nerve tissue. Imagine a gel capsule, if you squish it but the gel doesn’t come out that’s a bulging disc. If the gel breaks through, that’s a herniated disc.
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