Many people visit the chiropractor for help with disc injuries. Brad Kern and other chiropractors that have experience in treating disc injuries believe that chiropractic adjustments can help restore motion to the spine and relieve pain. Chiropractors use manual manipulation, physical therapy, stretching, and exercise to help treat disc problems. These treatments focus on restoring the alignment of the spine, strengthening muscles around joints, and improving mobility in the affected area. Below are some of the many ways chiropractors can treat disc injuries.
What are Disc Injuries?
There are two main types of disc injuries: herniations and bulges. A herniation occurs when a portion of the inner disc material is pushed out from between two vertebrae, causing pain and pressure on nerves. A bulge occurs when the outer walls of the disc become weak and cause the disc to swell outward. In either case, the result can be irritating nerve pain that radiates down the arms or legs and may cause weakness, numbness, tingling, and/or muscle spasms.
Manual manipulation, also known as chiropractic adjustments, is a chiropractic technique used to adjust spinal vertebrae in order to restore motion and reduce pain. During this process, a chiropractor uses their hands and other instruments to apply gentle but firm pressure to the affected area in order to restore joint movement and reduce any muscle spasm or tension.
By far one of the most effective treatments for herniated and bulging discs, spinal decompression is a gentle stretching technique used to separate two adjacent vertebrae. This procedure uses a specialized table that can be adjusted to apply a distraction force between the affected vertebrae, which in turn helps reduce pressure on intervertebral nerves, increase blood flow to the area, and may even help promote the retraction of the herniated disc material.
Physical therapy is another common treatment for disc injuries. This type of treatment helps strengthen muscles around joints, improve the range of motion, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Physical therapists may use heat, cold, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation to help reduce pain and accelerate healing.
Stretching and Exercise
Chiropractors may also recommend stretching exercises to help relieve pressure on the affected area. Stretching can help improve range of motion and flexibility, in addition to reducing muscle tension and spasms. Chiropractors may also recommend exercises to strengthen the muscles around the joints and promote healing.
Some disc injuries may be caused by poor posture. Therefore, chiropractors may teach patients proper body mechanics and educate them on how to maintain good posture in order to prevent further injury or aggravation of an existing disc injury.
The Bottom Line
In addition to these treatments, chiropractors may also use other therapies such as acupuncture, massage, nutrition counseling, and lifestyle changes in order to help treat disc injuries. By incorporating multiple treatment methods, chiropractors can help restore motion to the spine and reduce pain associated with disc injuries. If you are suffering from a disc injury, consult with your chiropractor to develop an effective plan of care that is tailored to your individual needs.