How Can Chiropractors Help With a Herniated Disc?

How Can Chiropractors Help With a Herniated Disc?

Herniated discs can cause immense pain and discomfort. They typically occur when the disc cushioning and supporting the vertebrae in your spine gets impaired. The impaired disc puts pressure on the nerves nearby and on the spinal cord, causing discomfort. While there are many options to treat this condition, chiropractic care is amongst the non-surgical ones.

What Is a “Herniated” Disc?

The disc cushioning the vertebrae in the spine acts as a shock absorber and distributor to provide flexibility to the spine. Its main purpose is to shield the sensitive vertebrae and keep them in the right form when we perform physical activities. Although the term “slipped disc” is often used to refer to a herniated disc, the discs don’t actually slip. 

The disc is made up of a tough outer layer and nucleus pulposus (softer inner-core). In the event of too much stress being put on the disc, a crack may occur and the material inside the disc will start to flow into the outer annulus. A combination of several factors including physical injury or being overweight can lead to this. However, poor posture is one of the most common reasons behind herniated discs. 

Chiropractic Care and Techniques

First and foremost, your chiropractor will try to assess the extent of the damage incurred by the herniated disc. In doing so, they will evaluate the entire spine as opposed to only focusing on the areas which are causing pain. They may also ask to look into your medical history and conduct a basic physical exam to better understand the nature of the herniated disc. 

Only when your chiropractor has determined that you are fit to undergo spinal manipulation, will they move to the next step and discuss treatment options with you. While there are other options, the three main techniques that chiropractors use on patients with herniated discs are:

  • Flexion-Distraction

With this method, your chiropractor aims to reduce the pressure on your discs by making minor spinal adjustments. You will be asked to lay down on a special table which makes it easier for your chiropractor to make those adjustments. By applying light force to damaged and nearby areas, they will try to move the herniated disc away from the affected nerves. 

  • Pelvic Blocking

Pelvic blocking techniques rely on cushioned wedges that are specially designed for chiropractic use. Your chiropractor will carefully place these wedges under your pelvis in order to move the herniated disc away from the affected nerve/s. While this is a good treatment for herniated discs, pelvic blocking can also help with headaches and other body pain. 

Additional Treatment Options

In order to get the most out of your treatment, your chiropractor may suggest some additional techniques. Treatment options like 3D active traction, laser therapy, and ultrasound guided injections are fairly common and help in targeting the root cause of the herniated disc. They are mainly done to supplement your primary treatment and make it more efficacious. 

Herniated discs are a common health issue that can be resolved with non-surgical treatments nine out of ten times. If you live in the downtown Abacoa area and are suffering from a herniated disc or other spine related issues, we at Flex Spine and Sports can help. We offer a myriad of chiropractic treatments including sports massage therapy, interactive muscle therapy, and more. To book your appointment, call our amazing team today!