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Can Chiropractors help a Slipped Disc?

| Dr David Palmer |

A “slipped disc” is an injury I see fairly often in practice. It tends to occur most commonly in the lower back, and can lead to severe low back pain. If the disc pinches the nerve it may result in pain, weakness, pins and needles, and numbness in the legs.

Herniated disc

What is a slipped Disc?

Located between each pair of vertebrae is a disc which acts as a shock absorber. The disc prevents the vertebra from grinding against each other. It’s vitally important that these veterbra are aligned properly and moving efficiently. It is this movement that nourishes the disc by squeezing blood/nutrients and fluids through the disc.

If this normal motion does not occur, the disc can dry out, weaken and tear, allowing the soft inner portion to bulge out. This is known as a herniated disc, but also goes by the terms, disc bulge and slipped disc. This process can be worsened by poor posture, being overweight or trauma.

The disc may deteriorate over a period of years without causing any symptoms. until a simple movement like sneezing, turning over in bed, or picking up a heavy object causes the disc to bulge, placing pressure on the nerve root, and causing debilitating symptoms.

How do I know if I have a slipped disc?

At Align Corrective Chiropractic your Chiropractor will go through your medical history, conduct neurological and orthopaedic testing, as well as perform a digital posture assessment. A set of X-rays or an MRI may also be necessary to determine the cause of your symptoms. We have our own on site X-ray facility available.

Your Chiropractor will examine your whole spine, as it’s quite possible that a problem in one area of your spine is affecting another area. With this information your Chiropractor will let you know if Chiropractic care is an option for you.

Chiropractic treatment for a slipped disc.

By realigning the vertebra, your Chiropractor can help you regain normal motion to your spine and take the pressure off the nerves and discs, helping to relieve your symptoms. You may also benefit from traction and other forms of conservative therapy.

The goal of Corrective Chiropractic care is to regain the normal shape and alignment of your spine. Therefore allowing your spine to move and function properly, as well as preventing any further degenerative changes to the disc.

Many patients are able to avoid risky spinal surgery by following a plan of chiropractic care, provided that the damage to the disc is not too severe. It’s important to remember that these degenerative changes are progressive, and will worsen if you do not address and correct the underlying cause.

If you have lost control of your bladder and bowel you will need immediate medical attention. If your Chiropractor finds any signs of advanced neurological damage you will be referred appropriately for further testing and treatment.

How long until my life is back to normal?

Some patients may notice immediate improvement of their symptoms following a Chiropractic adjustment. Others may take weeks to months before they feel better. Slipped discs generally heal slowly. It’s important to remember that even though you may feel better in the short term you will still require corrective care as well as a rehabilitative program to correct the cause of your problem and strengthen your spine, to prevent it from happening again.

It’s far easier to take care of your spine before a slipped disc than trying to treat it afterwards. So make sure that you see a Chiropractor that can help you take care of your spine.