Bulge / Herniated Disc
What are Spinal Discs and what do they do?
Between each of your spinal bones (vertebrae) are flexible, gel-like pads called intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers for your spine. The spines curves allow for more flexibility than that of a straight, rigid spine. Discs affect your height too- you are about ¼”-1/2″ taller when you wake up than when you go to sleep. Why is that? Gravity makes your discs thin when you walk, and another 150 pounds of weight added to your spinal discs during the day when you sit at work. Luckily, your discs expand a little while you lie in bed.
As you age, your discs may lose fluid, and small cracks or lesions may form in the outer walls. This damage also called disc degeneration or desiccation and is caused or accelerated by the vertebral subluxation complex, a spinal distortion that only chiropractors are trained to detect and correct. Your disc may bulge, irritate nerves and cause a lot of discomfort and pain. In severe cases, disc damage may make it difficult to walk, stand, sit or lift or cause pain when sneezing, coughing, urinating or defecating.
Do You Have a “Slipped Disc”?
A disc cannot slip since it is attached into the top and bottom of the vertebrae. What does however slip are the vertebrae. The term “slipped” discs would be more accurately called a slipped vertebrae or a subluxation.
Do you have Degenerative Disc Disease?
Disc degeneration is also sometimes referred to as disc desiccation or dehydration of the intervertebral disc which commonly happens with age. However, because the disc is now thinner, this may lead to irritation of spinal nerves and contribute to endometriosis, menstrual cramps, infections (kidney, vaginal, bladder), urinary retention, miscarriage, sterility, prostate problems, impotence, cystitis, and constipation.
It’s not uncommon for an individual with a chronic back problem to also suffer from one or more of the above issues.
Is Back Surgery Effective?
Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, MD, “I have seen more than one case in which spinal surgery was avoided by individuals who decided, as a last resort before going under the knife, to see a chiropractor…” There continues to be more research proving this point, by the time you read this there will have been another dozen or two studies done. His remark has been underlined by many others who have been able to avoid back surgery.
Back surgery for herniation should only be attempted as a last option. Back surgery is a dangerous, high-risk surgical procedure with a failure rate higher than most. Many people live productive lives that have disc degeneration with no symptoms. When you include chiropractic in your lifestyle, you’ll get more miles out of your spine with a higher quality of life without surgery or drugs. Chiropractors are leading the way in spinal care using cutting-edge technologies and techniques that no other health professional is currently doing.
The Chiropractic Resume
In one study 27 patients documented with disc herniation were given chiropractic care. Post-chiropractic care MRIs revealed that 63% of the patients had a reduced or completely reabsorbed disc herniation and 78% returned to work.
In another study, 21 patients diagnosed with a positive CT scan for a lumbar disc herniation. After chiropractic, their pain disappeared. A follow-up CT scan at least six months later showed the herniation reduced or disappeared In most patients.
Another study of 517 patients with protruded (disc bulge) lumbar discs, 76.8% had satisfactory results with chiropractic care.
Is Surgery ever needed?
Surgery is sometimes necessary, although rare it is sometimes needed in severe cases but not without exhausting all conservative treatments first. We see many failed cases in our office, and there are times spinal surgery fails and must be repeated. Synergy Wellness Chiropractic & Physical Therapy uses the gold standard (Spinal Decompression, Cold Laser Therapy, and Cox Flexion Distraction Technic) when treating disc herniations and bulges. Our disc treatment protocols are incredibly effective.
How to Prevent Disc Problems
Chiropractic has been a blessing to many sufferers of spine and disc problems. Chiropractic is not, however, a “treatment” for conditions. It’s care for your entire body. Many times patients visiting their chiropractor for a back or neck problem have been pleasantly surprised at the holistic or whole-body effect of chiropractic. Why wait until a disc becomes “hot” before exploring chiropractic care? Chiropractic care may help prevent your spine from deterioration and herniation. Chiropractors have even helped people relieve the pain and frustration of failed back surgery (yes, you can receive chiropractic care if you’ve had spinal surgery) and also prevent future operations.
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