Are you suffering from a herniated disc?
The job of your body’s vertebral discs is to allow fluid motion throughout the turns, twists, bends, and lifts we do on a regular basis. These hard, yet squishy circular discs contain 80% water, and their integrity ensures proper spinal motion. However, both injury and age can leave you vulnerable to having a disc herniation. A herniated disc occurs when the outer fibers of the disc tears, causing the inner fibers (nucleus pulposus) to protrude out into the spinal canal. This can cause pressure, entrapment, and even full impingement of the spinal cord. Because the spinal cord is like your body’s “super connective highway,” connecting your brain to your body, this can have serious consequences. Not only does your spinal cord contain nerves that control your body’s muscles, but it also links to your organs, glands, and skin. The less pressure applied to these nerves, the better they will function and communicate with the rest of your body. Our Chiropractic clinic uses multiple non-invasive strategies to improve this condition.
Herniated disc risk factors:
- Trauma, Injuries, and Falls (Most common cause)
- Repetitive Micro-trauma (e.g. constant bending to pick up laundry with improper form)
- Auto accidents
- Contact Sports
- Previous acute and chronic back pain
- Constant sitting leading to weak core muscles (protects and aids spinal health)
- Age – Younger people are actually more at risk than seniors, due to their discs being more hydrated, and thus, more at risk to dislodge from injuries
Signs & Symptoms (Can vary based on the location of herniation):
- Numbness, tingling, and/or radiating pain down the arm(s) or leg(s)
- Radiating pain (to knees, feet, elbows, and/or hands)
- Chronic low back or neck pain
- Loss of specific bodily functions (due to nerve-to-organ innervation)
- Loss of muscle control
- Muscle atrophy
- Loss of bladder control (nerves innervating the bladder and/or genitals)
Our approach to disc herniation:
Those with disc herniations can often find great success with Chiropractic care. Conventionally, surgical intervention is typically recommended. And in some severe cases, it can be the only option. However, our clinic recommends taking the LEAST invasive steps first before making life-altering surgical decisions. Our care clinic’s safe, non-surgical treatment of disc herniation includes:
- Specific Chiropractic Adjustments (meant to improve fluid motion and restore proper biomechanics of the joint)
- Manual & Mechanical Traction (meant to decompress the disc & nerves & improve hydration of the disc)
- Active Release Technique (muscle “stripping” technique to reduce stress in the area)
- At-home Decompression (we give tools to help compliment in-office traction and improve disc space)
- Exercise Rehabilitation (strengthening the surrounding muscles)
- Myofascial Release (more muscle stretching techniques)
- Hot/Cold therapy
Our intensive care protocol is effective, non-invasive, and safe. However, if the desired results are not achieved, you still have the option to move to more invasive measures like surgery. Chiropractic care will only enhance the integrity of the disc, making it a wise choice to try first. All too often, we see patients who had surgery and it yielded only more painful results. This is not the case with everyone, but when we are talking about your spine, the Chiropractic and Physical Therapy Center in Fairfax, VA believes in taking the most conservative steps first.
Don't live with disc herniation. Schedule an appointment today!