You’ve surely heard of the term herniated disc, and just the thought of it conjures up fears of discomfort and pain. If you have a herniated disc, you may be experiencing pain, numbness, weakness and more. Fortunately, Shadowood Chiropractic Center offers chiropractic treatment for a herniated disc that can help.
What is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc, which is also referred to as slipped, ruptured or bulged, is a fragment of your disc nucleus that’s pushed out of your annulus (the tough circular exterior of the intervertebral disc that surrounds the soft inner core) and into your spinal canal through a rupture or tear in your annulus.
You have vertebrae (bones) that form the spine in your back. These vertebrae are cushioned by discs. These discs are like small pillows and round with an outer tough layer (annulus) surrounding the nucleus. The discs are in your spinal column, situated between each of your vertebrae and act like shock absorbers for the bones of your spine.
When you get a herniated disc, it’s typically in an early degeneration stage. There’s limited space in your spinal canal, which isn’t enough for your spinal nerve and the dislodged herniated disc fragment. Because of this displacement, your disc presses on your spinal nerves and produces pain — sometimes severe.
You could experience a herniated disc in any area of your spine. They’re more common, however, in your lower back in your lumbar spine, but you could get them in your neck in your cervical spine. The location where you experience pain will usually signal the spinal area impacted.
Causes of a Herniated Disc
Herniated discs often result from disc degeneration (slow aging-related wear and tear). As you get older, your discs start losing their flexibility and become more vulnerable to rupture or tearing with even a minor twist or strain.
Many individuals can’t pinpoint how their herniated disc occurred. In some cases, lifting heavy objects through the use of your back muscles instead of your thigh and leg muscles could cause a herniated disc. Turning and twisting when lifting can also. For others, a sports injury is the culprit. It’s rare that a traumatic event, like a blow to your back or fall, would be the cause.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
Symptoms and signs of a herniated disc will depend on where your disc is located and if it’s pressing on a nerve. Herniated discs often impact one side of your body. You may experience:
Leg or arm pain: If it’s your lower back the herniated disc affects, you’ll usually feel pain mostly in your thigh, buttocks and calf. You may have pain in an area of your foot too. If the herniated disc is in your neck, you will likely experience the pain mostly in your arm and shoulder. The pain can shoot into your leg or arm when you sneeze, cough or move into certain positions. The pain you experience may feel sharp or like a burning sensation.
Tingling or numbness: Individuals with a herniated disc usually have radiating tingling or numbness in the area of the body the affected nerves serve.
Weakness: Muscles served by the impacted nerves are often weakened, causing you to stumble or affecting how you hold or lift objects.
You may experience a herniated disc without symptoms. In fact, you may not even realize you have one unless a spinal image shows it.
Treatment for a Herniated Disc
There are various forms of treatment.
Initial herniated disc treatments are typically nonsurgical and conservative. Our caring chiropractor, Dr. Allen DellaBella, D.C. might advise you to stick with a painless, low activity level for several days to several weeks to help reduce spinal nerve inflammation. He does not typically recommend you stay in bed.
Dr. DellaBella might suggest physical therapy. The therapist will provide you with a comprehensive evaluation, which, when combined with our chiropractor’s diagnosis, dictates the specific treatment designed just for herniated discs. Your physical therapy might include:
Ice and heat therapy
Electrical muscle stimulation
In our office, no surgery or drugs are needed.
The Cox Chiropractic Treatment
Dr. DellaBella practices the Cox® flexion-distraction technique where he uses light, targeted and direct force to deliver precise adjustments to your spine, etc.
What Is the Cox Chiropractic Technique?
The Cox technique is an alternative to spinal decompression therapy and much safer. Spinal decompression therapy can actually do more harm than it does good for your spine. Even though there are some chiropractors in Boca Raton that provide spinal decompression therapy, Dr. DellaBella has researched this treatment thoroughly and has determined the Cox Technique is a much safer and more effective treatment option.
Flexion-distraction is an innovative method that helps with various conditions individuals struggle with every day. Flexion-distraction helps to:
Widen your spinal canal foramina area through spinal pulling and bending, specifically where your nerves come out.
Return spinal joint motion.
Reduce spinal nerve pressure.
Help ease tingling, numbness, pain and shooting pains into your extremities.
Flexion-distraction reduces the pressure on your intervertebral disc, thereby enabling disc reduction, pressure reduction on your dorsal root ganglion and then afterward your exiting nerve root and increasing your intervertebral foramen size (houses your spinal nerves, which causes the pain in your legs and arms).
What Should You Expect During the Cox Procedure?
With this hands-on, non-invasive, chiropractor-controlled spinal manipulation, you lie on a Cox table. The table allows our caring chiropractor to administer decompression adjustment and manipulation and Flexion-Distraction. The goal of the Cox technique is to help alleviate your spinal pain as fast as possible.
During your session, our Boca Raton chiropractor maintains contact with your spine as he makes incremental adjustments. He’ll apply the precise amount of force needed for relieving disc compression. This leads to long-lasting relief of pain and the technique takes less time than you’d spend in a session of spinal decompression. It also provides you with better healing.
After he carefully examines you, Dr. DellaBella will decide if flexion-distraction is the right treatment for you. He’ll administer the treatment on the traditional flat, horizontal table where you’ll lie face down.
He’ll then tolerance test you, which means he’ll slowly test your neck/lower back through specific treatment progressions to determine the beginning level and ensure it won’t irritate your current condition.
Contact Shadowood Chiropractic Center for Herniated Disc Treatment