Chiropractic for Herniated Disc

  • Overview

    An intervertebral disc is a fibrous connective tissue between 2 vertebra that provides padding and shock absorption. You can think of a intervertebral disk like a jelly donut, with a softer center encased within a tougher exterior. A herniation occurs when some of the softer “jelly” (medically know as the Nucleus Pulposus) pushes out through a crack in the tougher exterior. A herniated disc can go by many names such as pinched nerve, bulging disc, ruptured disc, torn disc, slipped disc, collapsed disc or disc protrusion.

  • Symptoms

    Some of the symptoms that a Herniated disc can cause are:
    – Pain
    – Numbness or weakness in an arm or leg.
    Radiculopathy
    Sciatica
    – Loss of bladder or bowel control (rare), which may be an indication of a serious medical condition know as Cauda Equina Syndrome.

  • Causes

    The most common location for a herniated disc to occur is in the Lumbar Spine; specifically between the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebra. This area bears much of the weight of everything above it and is also an area of the spine that contributes to much of the flexion and extension. The vast majority of disc injuries happen when we are in a flexed position such as lifting, bending over at the waist or getting up from a seated position. Flexed positions put a lot of strain on the front part of the Nucleus pulposus and over time can extrude it out of the disc. Think of the jelly doughnut, what happens when you squish the front half of the doughnut?

  • Therapy

    The good new is that chiropractic adjustments are very good at reliving the cause and symptoms of disc herniations. Out Doctors of Chiropractic will usually recommend exercises to stabilize and strengthen the musculature about the spine. Unfortunately, especially for the patient, many people are told the only path to relieve these symptoms is through surgery. Often the procedure preformed is called a discectomy and is unnecessary in many cases.