Treating acute pain associated with a herniated disc – sometimes called a slipped disc or ruptured disc – isn’t a quick-fix for many patients. Unlike prescribing medication that masks the pain to allow the body more time to try to heal itself, we work on returning the spinal alignment to the proper condition to help the body heal faster and more efficiently.
Discs absorb shock and distribute that shock evenly as you go through your normal daily activities. When you twist, bend, jump, or fall, the soft jelly-like interior of each disc provides a cushion for the spinal vertebrae.
Trauma, such as impact in a car accident, isn’t the only thing that causes herniated discs. Obesity, poor posture and over-exertion cause the jelly-like interior to push through cracks in the disc’s tough exterior. When this happens, you experience pain and inflammation.
Sometimes, patients feel pain or tingling in their legs or arms associated with herniated discs. This happens when the bulging material affects surrounding nerves. To find the source of the pain, we do a full exam which includes the following:
• Full medical history
• Reflex tests (the tiny hammer taps on your knee)
• Observation of muscles for signs of weakness or atrophy
• Checking the nerve path for signs of loss of sensation in extremities
• X-rays and other diagnostic tests
We want to make sure your overall spine is in good health, not just the area causing pain.
There is not one treatment plan that works for all patients. We design each course of treatment based on the individual. A full examination helps us decide if the source of the pain is the disc or surrounding tissues, nerves, or muscles. Often, especially if you experienced a recent trauma, there are multiple affected areas.
Spinal manipulation returns the spinal column to a healthy alignment, improving blood flow to the muscles and returning fluid to the discs. Adjustments also relieve pressure on the nerves. A properly aligned spine supports overall spine health, which supports a healthier, pain-free lifestyle.
Sometimes patients benefit from stimulation therapy, which relaxes muscles with heat, massage, or electro-stimulation. The processes are not painful. In fact, many people say the gentle pressure of an adjustment is pleasant and relaxing.
When it comes to managing acute pain from a herniated disc, the main goal is to correct structural issues that support overall spine health and natural healing.
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