Chiropractic care for spinal disc problems is steadily increasing in popularity. As more and more research proves the effectiveness for chiropractic for these types of problems, doctors, and therapists are incorporating it into treatment plans for their patients.
Spinal disc problems can be debilitating, causing significant pain and severely limiting mobility. Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common spinal problems contributing to disc bulge or herniation. While most people think of disc problems being in their lower back, disc herniations or bulges can happen to any disc anywhere in the spine including the neck.
The “discs” are the cushions of the spine and are located between each vertebra. They are strong and flexible allowing movement of the spine. They also act as a shock absorber and transmit loads up and down the spine. When one disc is injured, it can bulge, like when you squeeze a balloon between your hands. This disc bulge can rub against or compress the nearby nerve root and cause pain and inflammation of the nerves that exit the spine resulting in back pain and even leg pain. Disc injuries are actually less common than other back conditions and only account for about 5% of all back related to disc injuries. And fortunately, only about 5% of them need surgery. The term “slipped disc” is often used as a blanket diagnosis but it is a misleading phrase as discs do not slip.
Most spinal or disc problems are marked by a specific set of symptoms including neck and back pain, stiffness, arm pain, leg pain, and tenderness in the spinal muscles or the spine itself. Other more serious symptoms can present at the onset of the condition or over a period of time. These symptoms indicate a dangerous problem that could even be life-threatening; they include:
- Back pain accompanied by fever
- Loss of control of bladder or bowel
- Severe weakness that inhibits the ability to use arms, legs, walk, etc.
- Loss of sensation in both arms and/or both buttocks
- Inability to defecate or urinate
More serious or life-threatening symptoms may require medical intervention, but most spinal conditions can be helped or even corrected with chiropractic care.
Through the careful, precise manipulation of the spine, a chiropractor can make adjustments to the body that help relieve the pain and pressure. This treatment can halt the debilitating progression of certain spinal problems while relieving pain and increasing mobility.
Spinal problems are usually diagnosed by a combination of complete physical examination and a thorough patient history. During the examination, the patient’s musculoskeletal and nervous systems are carefully assessed. A doctor of chiropractic will examine the patient by moving the patient into different positions using their legs, arms, and back while applying pressure to the joints. Other diagnostic tools include x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
The preferable course of treatment for spinal problems is more conservative in nature. The earlier the problem can be diagnosed and treatment can begin, the better. Slipped Disc Treatment include physio-therapies such as ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, myofascial release and ice, as well as chiropractic adjustments. There are many different ways to adjust the spine to achieve Herniated Disc Pain Relief and I have found that the Flexion Distraction Technique and the gentle Thompson Drop Technique is often the best in the acute and most painful stage of recovery. The techniques used will always be customized to your needs.
Movement is also crucial to healing and the sooner the patient gets back on their feet, the better. For most injuries or back problems, those problems are exacerbated when the patient stays in bed or coddles their back instead of walking and moving. It can result in long-term back problems.
Spinal manipulation by a doctor of chiropractic has been proven to be an effective, safe treatment for disc problems and associated pain. In some cases, therapeutic exercise may be added to the treatment and this too has been shown to be very effective.
In most cases, chiropractic care is sufficient and surgery of the spine or injections are unnecessary to manage the problems. In fact, these more invasive therapies often create more problems than they cure. Chiropractic care should be the first course of action for spine-related pain, injury, or problems. So if you or a loved one are suffering from spinal disc problems, make sure you give us a call. We’re here to help!
Here’s what just one of our patients had to say about the care of his disc injury:
“I was introduced to Dr. Hoch at Fort Myers Chiropractic Studio by my wife Stacey and was in complete desperation. Just before Christmas 2016, I developed progressive pain in my neck that started out feeling just stiff and sore. That soreness quickly progressed to a point where I was completely debilitated. I went to the emergency room and despite getting high-caliber pain medication, nothing helped at all. Dr. Hoch understood the pain I was experiencing and knew exactly what to do to help me. Within a few treatments and traction to relieve pressure in my neck, I started feeling like myself again. While being treated by Dr. Hoch, I was also under the care of a neurosurgeon and pain management physician. The surgeon ordered an MRI to see more closely what was going on. I was diagnosed with a severe C5-C6 disc herniation. He stated that with the degree of herniation I had, the only way to fix the problem would be surgery, however, my insurance company dictated that conservative treatment had to be exhausted first before moving on to that. For once, I am glad that the insurance company intervened to prevent that surgery because I didn’t want to go that route if I could avoid it. With Dr. Hoch’s help, I was not only just able to avoid surgery but able to get back to work relatively quickly. Today, it has been only 3 months since this whole problem began. In that short period of time, I went from being unable to do anything, to not have any restrictions in my life. Not having restrictions is important because I am a nurse, and there isn’t such a thing as light duty in my field of work. I am thankful for the whole team at Fort Myers Chiropractic Studio, because, without them, I’m certain I would still be recovering from surgery.” ~M. H.
Dr. Hoch (pronounced Hoke), is a 1988 Graduate of Peotone High School and a 1990 Graduate of Joliet Junior College. She Received both her B.S. in Human Biology (1991) and her Doctorate of Chiropractic (D.C.) (1993) from The National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, IL. She also received her graduate and post-graduate certifications in Acupuncture from NCC. This article is copyrighted and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without prior written permission of Dr. Hoch.