Many people turn to chiropractic care at our offices for safe, effective treatment of disc injuries. This is sometimes referred to as a “slipped disc”, but discs don’t actually slip out of place. Discs can, however, bulge or herniate, causing pain at the site of injury, and/or numbness, pain, tingling, and weakness to radiate down the arms or legs.
The pain and other symptoms are caused by the disc putting pressure on the spinal nerves, causing a “pinched nerve”, which leads to inflammation, pain, and impaired function. Pressure on these “pinched nerve” can cause your symptoms to travel away from the spine, along the course of the affected nerve. The nerves of the neck travel down the shoulder and extend into the arm, hand, and fingers. This why so many neck problems cause symptoms into the arm and hand. The nerves of the low back join to form the sciatic nerve, which travels down the leg into the foot. This is why a “pinched nerve” of the low back with symptoms radiating down the leg is often called “sciatica”.
Discs can be injured by an acute trauma, or can be injured slowly over time by poor posture, lifting incorrectly, and loss of normal spinal function (joint restrictions, misalignment’s, subluxations). Whatever the cause, disc injuries usually respond very well to chiropractic care. Before treatment begins, a thorough examination including orthopedic and neurologic testing and X-ray or MRI studies, if necessary, will help to determine your exact diagnosis and individualized treatment plan. Spinal manipulation (adjustment) of the spinal and extremity joints is very effective in restoring normal position and function to the joints, as well as to the surrounding muscles and nerves. This usually leads to a decrease in pain and faster recovery.
Part of your treatment may also include some of the following: therapeutic exercises, mechanical traction, electric stimulation, ultrasound, and ice or heat therapy. Massage therapy & myofascial release techniques may also be used in conjunction with these other therapies in order to get the best results. Also, the doctor may arrange for on-site evaluation of your workout routine and/or workplace to correct improper ergonomic conditions, which may be aggravating your condition. If you are experiencing the symptoms of disc injury or a “pinched nerve”, we recommend that you schedule an appointment as quickly as possible. In the event that your condition requires medical attention, an appropriate referral would be made promptly. However, surgery is rarely needed and should only be considered if conservative therapy fails.