Can Chiropractic Reduce your Disc Herniations?

herniated discThe major complaint chiropractors are presented with commonly involve the neck or the low back. While the majority of back and neck pain is relatively mild and easy to treat with spinal manipulation, it can also be a little more difficult in cases such as disc herniations. Disc herniations arise when the soft centre of the rubbery disc between two vertebras breaks through the hard external casing off the disc and starts to compress the spinal canal. This compression within the spinal canal causes increased pressure upon the nerves of the neck and back leading to pain like symptoms or a numbness/tingling sensation in the arms and legs.

There are several levels of a disc herniation which include disc bulge, protrusion, prolapse and sequestration. These levels are categorised based on a small disc herniation (disc bulge) where a small fragment causes pressure on the spinal cord, to a large disc herniation (sequestration) which involves a complete segment breaking away from the disc and entering the spinal canal. There are many causes of Disc herniations including twisting incorrectly, lifting heavy objects the wrong way, trauma from a car accident or a gradual ageing condition causing degeneration of the disc.

Symptoms involved with a disc herniation include:

  • Pain in your legs and arms starting from you neck or back and working its way down to the fingertips and toes
  • Numbness or tingling into the arms or legs that corresponds to the nerve that’s pinched
  • Weakness in the limbs as a result of the impinged nerve
  • Loss of motion/movement in the neck or back

Disc herniations can be managed and treated using a number of techniques and general lifestyle changes. Chiropractic can help manage disc herniations by numerous techniques including but not limited to, chiropractic adjustments and mobilisations (in acute patients), soft tissue work to the problematic area, category 3 blocking-SOT, exercises to take home to strengthen the muscles around the disc and using the flexion distraction table to aid in relieving the pressure around the nerve. Chiropractic has shown to manage patients with disc herniations and provide a significant amount of relief for them.

Chiropractors can also provide advice for patients during their consultation including:

  • Reducing high impact exercises and implementing low impact exercise
  • Utilise core strengthening exercises
  • Yoga if in the disc herniation hasn’t progressed past a protrusion
  • Swimming and pilates
  • Weights at the gym should be completed with a back support
  • Avoid acidic and surgery foods as these increase inflammation
  • Quit smoking as it reduces blood flow that you’ll need to heal the disc
  • Medium to firm bed is recommended
  • Certain supplements can be administered- glucosamine sulphate, gelatin, turmeric and krill oil
  • Lift objects by bending the knees and not hunching over
  • Avoid coughing and sneezing
  • Avoid stressful situation
  • Purchase an inversion table

Dr Schiller aligning back disc

If none of the above treatments are sufficient enough and the pain in the neck or low back is still present, surgery should be recommended as a last resort. Studies have demonstrated that chiropractic, especially adjustments have helped many patients with disc herniations and surgery hasn’t been warranted (Snelling, 2007).

At Lakeside Chiropractic we have had many patients come in with neck and back disc herniations which have been successfully treated. If you have any of the symptoms as mentioned above or have MRI scans demonstrating that you have a disc herniation, Lakeside Chiropractic may be a great option for you. Lakeside Chiropractic is located in Joondalup, central to Perth’s Northern Suburbs. We have many visitors from various surrounding suburbs including Kingsley, Wanneroo, Burns Beach, Kallaroo, Beldon, Heathridge, Greenwood and North Beach. We also have on site HICAPS Facilities for all major health insurance providers in addition to being a Medibank Preferred Practitioner and BUPA first provider. We also accept Medicare referrals from General Practitioners. If you are in need of any further information or wish to book an appointment please give us a call on 9300 0095 or check out our website at www.lakesidechiro.com.au.

References

Snelling, N. (2007). Reply to Comments on “Spinal manipulation in patients with disc herniation: A critical review of risk and benefit”. International Journal Of Osteopathic Medicine, 10(1), 30-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ijosm.2006.12.002

Hincapie, C.A., Cassidy, J.D., Cote, P., Rampersaud, Y.R., Jadad, A.R., Tomlinson, G.A. “Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation and the Risk for Acute Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Belief Elicitation Study.” European Spine Journal, 2017: 1-9.

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