Herniated Disc TreatmentAlbany, OR
If an individual is suffering from back pain, numbness, or weakness in the arm or leg, they may have a herniated disc. A herniated disc is when part of the substance that makes up the disc’s center gets pushed into the spinal canal. This substance may not lead to any pain, or it can press on a spinal nerve, causing significant discomfort.
Herniated discs can happen in any part of the spine but are more common in the lower back or the neck. Herniated disc treatment is available at Better Pain Solutions in Albany and the surrounding area. Call us at (541) 249-7317 to schedule an appointment.
Understanding a Herniated Disc
A herniated disc, also called a slipped, ruptured, or bulging disc, is a common cause of neck, back, and leg pain. The injury of the spine involves the round cushions called discs that reside between the vertebrae in the spine. These discs are buffers between the bones of the spine and allow people to move and bend. A herniated disc is when one of these discs tears and leaks.
Most herniated discs are located in the lower back or neck. The symptoms can vary depending on where the location of the disc and whether or not it is pressing on a nerve. It can include pain in the buttocks, thigh, and calf if the disc is in the lower back. It can also include pain in the shoulder and arm if the disc is located in the neck. People can also experience numbness or tingling, weakness in the arms and legs, or no symptoms at all.
“A herniated disc, also called a slipped, ruptured, or bulging disc, is a common cause of neck, back, and leg pain.”
Causes and Risk Factors
A herniated disc happens most often in people between the ages of 30 and 50. Men are also twice as likely to be affected as women. Over the years, discs gradually become less flexible and more susceptible to tearing or rupturing. This gradual wear and tear is called disc degeneration.
It is not always easy to pinpoint the cause of a herniated disc. Often, it is the result of lifting objects incorrectly or twisting while lifting a heavy item. Several factors can increase a person’s likelihood of suffering a herniated disc. They include:
- Employment: People with physically demanding jobs that include repetitive motions, lifting, bending, and twisting are at increased risk.
- Genetics: There can be a predisposition to herniated discs.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: People who do not get enough physical exercise are at increased risk.
- Smoking: Smoking may reduce oxygen supply to the discs.
- Weight: Excess body weight puts additional stress on the lower back.
“It is not always easy to pinpoint the cause of a herniated disc.”
Reasons to See a Chiropractor
At first, a herniated disc can be treated at home. However, it is time to see a chiropractor if any of the following occurs:
- Pain that interferes with daily life
- Symptoms get worse
- Symptoms that do not improve after 4-6 weeks
- Tingling, numbness, or lack of strength in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Trouble standing or walking
An untreated herniated disc can worsen, especially if the person continues any activities that may have initially caused it. People can experience chronic pain as well as loss of control or sensation in the area affected. A chiropractor will confirm the diagnosis of a herniated disc and develop a customized treatment plan.
“An untreated herniated disc can worsen, especially if the person continues any activities that may have initially caused it.”
Diagnosing a Herniated Disc
The chiropractor can use a variety of exams, imaging, and testing to help diagnose a herniated disc. First, a physical exam will get conducted. The chiropractor will check the patient’s entire spine and neck for areas of pain. The patient may also get asked to lie flat and move their legs into various positions to help determine the source of the pain. Additional exams can test the patient’s reflexes, muscle strength, and ability to feel certain sensations.
Additional tests may assist with a diagnosis. An X-ray alone cannot detect a herniated disc. However, it can rule out other causes of back pain. An MRI can be used to confirm the location of the herniated disc and show which nerves are being affected.
“The chiropractor can use a variety of exams, imaging, and testing to help diagnose a herniated disc..”
Herniated Disc Treatment
Since treatment is not one-size-fits-all, each patient will receive a customized plan to address their herniated disc symptoms. It can include spinal manipulations and other techniques designed to provide relief. The specific plan will address a patient’s pain level, activity, and overall health. Some patients may need a combination of treatments to effectively address a herniated disc.
One chiropractic technique often used involves spinal adjustment. This is when the spine is moved gently in certain directions to help ease a herniated disc back into its normal position. Spinal adjustment helps to eliminate nerve compression, restore flexibility, and reduce pain. Electrical muscle stimulation or EMS has also been shown to be effective. EMS can reduce pain and eliminate the symptoms of a herniated disc in some patients. Therapeutic exercises also strengthen the back, improve blood flow to the spine, and encourage healing.
“Since treatment is not a one-size-fits-all, each patient will receive a customized plan to address their herniated disc symptoms.”
Choose Chiropractic Care to Treat a Herniated Disc
Chiropractic treatment for a herniated disc is non-invasive and long-lasting. If a person is suffering from lower back pain, a chiropractor can help diagnose the problem and create an effective treatment plan. They should call Better Pain Solutions at (541) 249-7317 to schedule an appointment.
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Questions Answered on This Page
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do herniated discs hurt?
A. Often, a herniated disc doesn’t cause any pain. However, if the disc is pressing on a nerve, it can lead to back, neck, and leg pain. If this pain is interfering with daily life, it’s time to see the chiropractor for treatment.
Q. Do I need surgery to fix a herniated disc?
A. Surgery should be one of the last options considered for treating a herniated disc. Chiropractic care is non-invasive and can often provide relief without surgery. Our staff will help create a personalized treatment plan to help relieve the symptoms.
Q. How can I prevent a herniated disc?
A. When lifting heavy items, use the proper technique to reduce the chances of suffering a herniated disc. A chiropractor can teach patients stretches and exercises that can strengthen the muscles supporting the spine. Regular adjustments can also address any misalignments that may put patients at higher risk for a herniated disc.
Q. How common are herniated discs?
A. Herniated discs are very common, particularly since many people don’t have any symptoms. Some patients can have several herniated discs without feeling any pain. Regular chiropractic care can help identify these issues before they get worse.
Q. How long will it take to heal?
A. Treatment time will vary from person to person. It often takes several chiropractic visits to experience consistent pain relief. Depending on the severity of the condition, healing time can take several months or longer.
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