Herniated Disc Treatment | Lakeland FL
If you suspect you may have a herniated or slipped disc, don’t hesitate to call New City Chiropractic in Lakeland, Florida. Our chiropractors can help relieve the pain you are experiencing with non-invasive herniated disc treatment. Our team of qualified, experienced chiropractors can diagnose your herniated disc and develop a chiropractic treatment plan for quick and lasting disc pain relief.
What is a Slipped or Herniated Disc?
Herniated discs—also referred to as a ruptured, bulging, or slipped disc—are a common source of lower back or neck pain that can be managed by an experienced chiropractor with noninvasive treatments.
Discs are the flat, round rubbery cushions nestled between the individual vertebrae, or hard bones that comprise the spinal column. The discs, which have a hard exterior of cartilage (annulus) and softer, jelly-like center (nucleus), play an important role, acting as shock absorbers and giving the spine flexibility. The discs in the cervical spine are similar but smaller than the discs in the lumbar spine, or lower back.
A herniated disc occurs when the tough exterior suffers a tear or rupture, allowing a fragment of the soft nucleus to push out into the spinal canal, which does not have room to accommodate the spinal nerve and displaced fragment from the herniated disc. This irritates the surrounding nerves and body parts served by those nerves.
Slipped Disc Symptoms & Treatment
Although a slipped disc or herniation can take place anywhere along the spine, the condition is most common in the lower back (lumbar spine) region. That area is prone to discomfort for several reasons, though, which means symptoms of pain or a lower backache are not enough to confirm the presence of a herniated disc, but they could be an indication. The most common symptoms of disc herniation include:
Numbness and tingling: Herniated discs often will cause a tingling, pins-and-needles sensation or numbness that starts in the lower or upper back and then travels throughout the extremities served by the impacted nerves, such as arms and legs. These sensations will usually occur on one side of the body, left or right.
Sciatica: When the herniated disc is located in the lower back, the most common symptom of the resulting pressure on the sciatic nerve is a sharp pain that travels from the lower back and buttocks through the back of one leg. The shooting pain may even affect parts of your foot. The pain may ebb and flow, intensifying when you sneeze, cough, walk, or move into certain positions.
Shoulder and arm pain: If the injury is located in the top part of your spine, your neck, shoulder and arm are more affected by pain. The trapezius muscles, between your neck and shoulder, are most commonly impacted, but the pain can radiate down the arm and into the fingers, as well.
Weakened muscles: Herniated discs affect nerves that serve various muscles, which may be weakened by the condition and make it more difficult to walk, lift, or carry heavy items. You may find yourself unexpectedly stumbling, slipping, or losing your grip.
Not all herniated discs are accompanied by signs and symptoms, particularly if the herniated disc is not putting pressure on any nerves. Some people may suffer the condition and be completely unaware until the injury shows up on spinal images.
In very rare cases, however, disc herniation may compress your entire cauda equine, or the group of long nerve roots that extends from the end of the spinal cord, resembling a horse’s tail. This complication, although highly uncommon, will often lead to worsening symptoms of numbness, pain, or weakness, as well as potential bladder or bowel dysfunction or the progressive lessening of sensation around the inner thighs, the rectum area, and the back of your legs. If you experience these severe symptoms or other indications of cauda equine syndrome, seek immediate medical attention.
You may not be able to pinpoint the exact cause of your herniated disc, as symptoms can come on gradually or intensify hours after the problem occurs, but there are a few known causes of disc herniation. The most common is simple disc degeneration, sometimes called degenerative disc disease or DDD. Gradual wear and tear related to aging and continual use. The spinal discs in children and young adults have high water concentration, which decreases over time, causing the discs to become less flexible and more susceptible to rupturing or tearing, even by relatively minor twisting movements or strain.
Other Causes of Disc Herniation
Disc herniation also can result from single movements that put excessive pressure or strain on a body part. For instance, you can get herniated discs from improperly twisting and turning while lifting weights or carrying heavy items by using your back muscles rather than the muscles in your legs and thighs.
In some rare cases, people will get a herniated disc after undergoing a traumatic event, such as an intense blow to the back, a car accident, or a painful fall.
As with many medical conditions, certain health factors may increase your risk of disc herniation. These risk factors include:
Genetics: Some people are genetically more predisposed to disc herniation and the condition may affect several family members.
Weight: Excessive weight can put extra strain on the discs in your lumbar spine.
Occupation: Some jobs require repetitive or frequent strenuous motions, such as lifting or carrying of heavy loads.
Smoking: Smoking can lead to hardening of the arteries (artherosclerosis), which is a factor in degenerative disc disorders and other lower back pain.
Diagnosis will often begin with your doctor conducting a physical examination, taking into consideration your complete medical history and symptoms. Based on this information, the doctor may be able to determine which nerve roots are being impacted.
The next step in confirming the diagnosis could include an X-ray; computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan); magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); myleogram; or electromyogram and nerve conduction studies (EMG/NCS).
Chiropractic Treatment for Herniated Discs
Although disc herniation can be painful and uncomfortable, most of the time people do not require surgery or any other invasive procedure to treat the problem.
Chiropractors will use orthopedic and neurological tests, a physical exam, and your medical history to determine the best treatment and recovery plan to relieve your herniated disc pain and prevent reinjury. The chiropractors at New City Chiropractic view slipped disc treatment in a holistic manner. We understand that even if your herniated disc is located in the lower back, the condition can impact other parts of the spine and/or body. We will devise an individualized treatment plan based on your symptoms, health status, and activity level, and get you on the road to a permanent back pain relief.
Depending on your injury, our chiropractors may employ one or more of the following techniques to treat your herniated disc pain and other symptoms:
Flexion-distraction: This is a technique that involves stretching or flexing the spine to isolate the affected area. Through the use of a gentle pumping rhythm, the displaced nucleus is worked back into its normal position in the center of the disc. The technique can address inflammation and pain in the lower back and legs by moving the fragments away from the spinal nerves.
Therapeutic Exercises: This technique is generally used in conjunction with acute chiropractic care to help prevent reinjury. Therapeutic exercises may include activities designed to increase range of motion, improve posture, and strengthen supporting muscle groups to allow time for the slipped disc to heal and to relive pressure in on a bulging disc.
Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA): This chiropractic treatment, which often is performed at a hospital or ambulatory care center, involves stretching and manipulating the injured area while the patient is sedated and in a relaxed state. Generally, you are only sedated for a short duration of a few minutes.
Pelvic Blocking: Using cushioned wedges and gentle exercises, the patient naturally changes their mechanics, effectively causing the damaged disc to shift and draw away from the nerve(s) on which it is putting pressure.
Schedule an Appointment for Herniated Disc Treatment
If you are suffering from the pain associated with cervical disc herniation in the Lakeland, Florida area, call the slipped disc chiropractors at New City Chiropractic to make an appointment. Don’t let disc pain rob you of your freedom and range of motion, request an appointment today!