Chiropractor Treatment for Herniated Disc
Chiropractors have had a long history of providing pain management for those suffering from a herniated disc. Chiropractors provide what is known as conservative care which does not involve the use of surgery. Different from the treatment prescribed by many medical doctors, chiropractors do not use drugs to treat pain but rely on spinal manipulation as well as a “whole person” healthcare approach to aid the body in healing itself of its own pain.
When a herniated disc sufferer seeks traditional medical treatment diagnosis is typically reached through a series of tests including x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs. In diagnosing patients who potentially have a herniated disc, chiropractors take these medical evaluations into account, but they also use muscle testing, pelvic balance tests, as well as other orthopedic and even neurological tests to get the whole picture on the cause of the herniation itself.
These tests examine and evaluate the posture of the patient, check the reflexes and muscle strength to determine if there are areas of restriction in spinal joint motion. In this way, testing not only reveals herniated discs but also paints a more complete picture about problems or conditions that may be affecting the herniated disc and the patient’s overall health.
Despite the belief of some in the medical community that chiropractic treatment involves “popping a disc back into place” with forceful adjustments, chiropractic care for low back pain only involves gentle low-force procedures.
One treatment method is the flexion-distraction technique, the most widely used chiropractic treatment for herniated discs. It uses a specialized table that allows for gentle stretching of the spine without pain, so the herniated disc can be isolated. This is a traction technique to improve disc height and allow the damaged cartilage between vertebrae (discs) of the spine adequate space to return to the normal position.
Other treatment techniques for herniated discs used by chiropractors are pelvic blocking techniques. This approach uses cushioned wedges placed under each side of the pelvis, which work along with gravity to alleviate and balance the pressure on the spine to help draw the herniated disc away from the nerve, relieving pain.
Herniated disc pain is always seen by chiropractors in the context of the entire spine. In addition to pain management techniques geared toward the herniated disc itself, the chiropractor will also work to relieve other spinal joint restrictions in the mid-back, neck, and even the extremities.
Calvanese Chiropractic works with patients to create a treatment plan which addresses all the factors that may be contributing to the herniated disc. In addition to spinal adjustment, we also help patients identify and change lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, stress, and other factors that may be causing or negatively affecting the herniated disc and the patient’s overall health.
The relationship between chiropractor and patient is important. Treating a herniated disc is crucial when pain is acute. Just as crucial, however, is getting the whole picture–not just about the cause of the herniated disc but about the quality of life for the patient. While the goal of chiropractic treatment is to manage pain, its higher goal is to facilitate a healthier, more fulfilled life for all patients. Contact us at Calvanese Chiropractic today for a consultation.