What is a herniated disc?
The spine is made up of a series of vertebrae, which are small connecting bones, and extends from the skull to the small of the back. Each vertebra has a jelly-like cushion between it and the next bone called a disc. The purpose of the disc is to absorb shock and provide cushion so the bones don’t rub together. Additionally, each vertebra has a hole through the middle where the spinal cord passes. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerve fibers which connects nearly all parts of the body to the brain. Each extremity has nerves leading directly through the spine and to the brain.
A herniated disc is a condition in which the jelly-like cushion, the disc between the spinal bones, pushes through the a crack in the exterior casing. Now, think of the spine as an electrical breaker box with the vertebrae being the breaker switches. If ever a switch is tripped off, or the vertebrae is misaligned, the connecting electrical output, or nerve ending, is not working properly. If your spine is out of alignment or experiences a major trauma, bones may rub together or discs may slip, or become herniated. This can result in a changed nerve response to the brain and cause pain in the associated extremities.
Some herniated discs may not cause any symptoms at all. Others can affect those nerves we talked about within the spine and may result in the following symptoms:
- Muscles spasms
- Leg, arm, foot or hand numbness
- Pins and needles type of feelings
- Hyperactive reflexes
- Tingling or burning sensations
- Stiffness in the neck
Treatment for Herniated Discs in the DMV Area
A majority of the time, the pain from a herniated disc can be controlled with conservative (non-surgical) treatments alone. Oftentimes, people resort to medications to ease the pain, but every medication has side effects and doesn’t treat the root of the problem. In fact, surgery and medication for herniated discs should be your last resort, if at all. There are many techniques and modalities chiropractors and physical therapists can use to treat herniated discs naturally.
When it comes to herniated discs, many people often believe that chiropractic adjustments will only aggravate the pain more. However, this is not true. Our chiropractors at Kaizo Health, use scientific evidence-based practices that safely and gently assess and adjust the spine. Adjustments are a natural, risk-free option for getting to the root of problem and eliminating the associated symptoms that comes with a herniate disc.
Remember that breaker box analogy we used before? Misalignments of the spine can cause inflammation and nerve interference, which is what our chiropractors can treat through spinal manipulation. Adjusting the spine will reduce inflammation surrounding the discs, restoring proper nerve communication to the brain and eliminating associated pain.
When one part of the body experiences an injury or trauma, such as a herniated disc, specific movement patterns to follow may lead to further injury and trauma. For this reason, it is extremely important to perform the proper exercises in tandem with receiving adjustments.
Therapy exercises optimize the patient’s experience by ensuring the implementation of a functional and reliably monitored rehab program. The proper exercises help the body learn how to move again. After receiving an adjustment, it is important to strengthen the surrounding muscles so that the spine is strong enough to remain in a stable state that will prevent the pain from returning.
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It is important to note that the above list comprises of typical pain patterns, but they are not absolute. Some people are simply wired differently than others, and therefore their symptoms and treatment plans are different. However, there are studies and research showing that regular chiropractic adjustments prevent debilitating flare ups in people with a history of chronic back issues.