How Do Chiropractors Treat Herniated Discs?

Herniated Discs

Herniated Discs

If you have experienced stiffness in your legs, feet or buttocks in the morning, sharp pain in your back, or sudden weakness, you may be suffering from a herniated disc.

A herniated disc is a highly painful condition in which the gel-like substance in the interior of your spinal disc protruded through the outer layer causing pressure on the surrounding nerves. This can make every day functioning impossible. Many patients feel that invasive back surgery is their only option. However, chiropractor herniated disc treatments can be an effective way to manage the pain associated with the injury and heal the injury.

Initial Exam

Chiropractic care is fundamentally about treating the patient holistically. A chiropractor determines how the spine is functioning and how it relates to your other body systems. So, the first step in the course of treatment is a comprehensive patient assessment including medical history as well as some biometric testing.

During this initial assessment, your chiropractor will conduct a variety of tests along with some questions to determine whether the herniated disc is affecting other areas of your body such as your reflexes. They may also look for signs of muscle deterioration or loss of strength as well as interrupted nerve function.

Flexion-Distraction Technique

Flexion-Distraction, also known as the Cox Method, is one of the most common treatments for herniated discs. To use this technique to treat herniated disc chiropractors can perform spinal manipulations with the assistance of a specialized table that bends and flexes the spine in a gentle rhythm.

The movement of the table relieves the pressure caused by the bulged disc and restoring regular movement to the spine. The motion of the table also encourages circulation around the spinal discs to allow nutrients to access the discs for a healthier spine.

Because the technique does not use any thrusting or sudden movements it is very gentle and suitable for most patients. The treatment may also be combined with other treatments such as physiotherapy or muscle stimulation, depending on the cause and severity of the herniated disc.

Following the flexion-distraction treatments, your chiropractor may recommend a series of exercises to be performed at home as well as a nutritional program and supplementation.

Pelvic Blocking

Pelvic blocking is a manual manipulation technique where your chiropractor places soft wedged blocks underneath each side of your pelvis then performs gentle exercises and manipulations to mechanically ease the pressure the herniation is causing on the surrounding nerves.

Manipulation Under Anesthesia

In some cases, spinal manipulations are more effective if the patient is sedated. Manipulation under anesthesia is a non-surgical treatment performed in a hospital where the patient is put under mild anesthesia to induce a short form of sedation called twilight sleep.

While the patient is anesthetized, the chiropractor gently manipulates the affected area. For the treatment to be most effective, the patient needs multiple sessions spaced 2 -4 weeks apart.

Final Thoughts

Don’t resign yourself to a life of pain or the complications that come with surgery. Chiropractic care can be a highly effective means of treating herniated discs and treating pain.

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