Back pain is one of the most common reasons for someone to visit a chiropractor. There are lots of different types of back pain, and it can be caused by a wide number of problems. One relatively common back pain trigger is a herniated disc. Fortunately, chiropractic treatment can help.
The spine is made up of a column of 33 small bones called vertebrae. In between each individual vertebrae are soft discs filled with a jelly-like substance. These discs act as a cushion and provide some flexibility in the spine that enables us to bend and twist. These discs are called intervertebral discs, and when one of them isn’t securely in place between the bones, it is known as a herniated disc. Herniated discs can occur for a range of reasons, from general wear and tear, to repetitive strain, injury, and even carrying too much weight.
When an intervertebral disc isn’t in place properly, it can put pressure on the nerves around it, causing discomfort. Some of the most common symptoms of a herniated disc include:
Pain when coughing, sneezing, or moving in certain positions
Pain that gets worse when you move around, but improves when you rest
Pain that radiates down into the buttocks, thighs, and calves
Pain that stems from a specific part along the backbone, just above the hips
Tingling, muscle weakness, and numbness in the legs
Your chiropractor will be able to conduct a physical assessment of your body to determine if you are experiencing a problem with an intervertebral disc, although in some cases, further testing in the form of x-rays or MRI testing may be necessary.
Chiropractors are specialists in the musculoskeletal system, with a deep understanding of how our spine affects our other body systems (since it contains the spinal cord, which is key to the central nervous system). Chiropractors believe that by aligning the spine and treating the entire musculoskeletal system, they can improve your overall wellbeing, as well as treat specific problems like a herniated disc.
The main technique used is known as chiropractic adjustments or spinal manipulations. Chiropractic adjustments use low force pressure to manipulate your spine to relieve pressure on the herniated disc and surrounding nerves. Some patients also undergo spinal decompression techniques which relieve pressure further and can help the disc to return to its normal position. Your chiropractor will be able to explain exactly what techniques they are using and why.
Chiropractic techniques are non-invasive and largely painless, although some patients do experience mild discomfort for a short while after. However, after a number of sessions, the initial discomfort that you were experiencing should have subsided. You should also find that you can move around more easily and comfortably.
If you would like more information about chiropractic help for herniated disc pain, please speak to our family chiropractic team today at Elevate Life Health Center in Kansas City, Missouri by calling 816-339-5900 today.