Between each vertebra of your spinal cord are spinal discs, which can wear down from gradual strain and stress. A herniation occurs when the nucleus of the spinal disc ruptures or pushes out its exterior, referred to as the annulus. Many people experience herniated disc injuries in their lower back (lumbar area) or neck (cervical area).
At Specific Care Chiropractic, we offer Cape Coral herniated disc treatment to our patients who have developed this injury over time and now experience chronic pain, inflammation, and even potential nerve damage. Our chiropractic treatments aim to help patients reduce their pain symptoms and improve their overall lifestyle and health.
Causes of Herniated Disc Injuries
For most people, herniated disc injuries are a result of gradual stress on the body, not a result of direct trauma (though it can be). People often sustain herniated disc injuries in their middle years, between the age of 35 and 50, though a person of any age can suffer this type of injury depending on their lifestyle or genetic disposition.
Some common causes of disc herniation include:
According to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, certain individuals may be genetically predisposed to herniation in their spinal cords. Their study found people who had a family history of disc herniation were 32 percent more likely to experience the injury themselves during their lifetime.
People who work in physically demanding jobs that involve repetitive motions (e.g., lifting, pulling, or bending over) or strain on their backs may develop herniated disc injuries at some point in their career.
Being overweight can cause gradual strain on the spinal cord, especially in a person’s lower back (lumbar area).
According to Mayo Clinic, people who smoke may be more prone to herniated disc injuries since smoking reduces oxygen supply to spinal discs. With less oxygen, spinal discs are more susceptible to injury and damage.
We Use Chiropractic Treatments and Physiotherapy to Treat Herniations
At Specific Care Chiropractic, we use chiropractic adjustments and physiotherapy to treat people with herniated disc injuries. These treatments include:
Activator Chiropractic Technique
We use a hand-held device to make targeted manipulations in your spinal cord. This device uses high-velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) force to apply pressure on your body, which replicates thrusts performed in diversified adjustment techniques; however, this method is more controlled.
We encourage patients to go through physical therapy to strengthen their bodies throughout their chiropractic treatment. Rehabilitative therapies can vary based on the patient’s needs and where the herniation is located. For example, people with cervical disc herniation may use an exercise ball as part of their exercise regimen, where people which lumbar disc herniation may learn more stretch and strength-training exercises.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation (E-STIM) Therapy
Patients can also benefit from E-STIM therapy, which involves applying electric stimulation onto herniated disc areas to encourage nerve restoration and muscle repair. This can be effective if patients experience nerve damage surrounding the herniation. Sports Medicine also published a report that this treatment serves as a gentle spinal treatment, helping patients regain mobility.
There may be other treatments we can use to treat your condition, which our physicians will mention when explaining your treatment plan.
What We Consider Before Applying Chiropractic Treatment
If you are coming to our Cape Coral office location for herniated disc treatment, your first appointment will involve a consultation to discuss the nature of your injury and what symptoms you’re experiencing. Some factors we will consider before creating your treatment plan include:
- What part of the spinal cord has the herniation (e.g., your neck, your lower back, or your tailbone)?
- Do you experience signs of nerve damage from the herniated disc, such as pain running down your leg or arm?
- Are you experiencing muscle weakness or other forms of functional limitations (e.g., no longer able to grip things as well as before)?
- Do you feel a sense of numbness around the herniation area?
- Are there any movements or positions that cause you pain or discomfort (e.g., sitting at your desk or bending over)?
Once we gauge your symptoms and level of discomfort, our physicians will also conduct a physical examination and have you take imaging exams done to review your injury more closely. This allows the physician to understand exactly where the herniation is located and what techniques they should do to treat your injury safely and effectively.
You will have an opportunity to learn about your treatment plan, which may also involve corrective care and other physiotherapeutic techniques as your body heals and progresses.
Studies Show That Chiropractic Treatments Are Effective for Herniated Discs
Research studies have found that chiropractic care applied to lumbar and cervical disc herniations can be an effective non-surgical treatment option for patients or as a supplemental treatment option after surgery if patients still feel pain.
These studies include:
Activator Chiropractic Technique Can Reduce Stress in Herniated Lumbar Discs
The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics published a report that found that activator chiropractic techniques proves more effective than side-posture manipulation when treating herniation in lumbar discs, noting that it involves less stress during spinal adjustments and is relatively safer.
Chiropractic Adjustments Can Lead to Pain Relief for People With L5-S1 Disc Herniations
The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported on a study that observed people with L5-S1 disc herniations, which are located at the base of the spinal cord, who underwent chiropractic adjustments. Physicians who remain observant about the patient’s pain tolerance and any signs of nerve damage, including sciatica, can help relieve the patient’s symptoms almost completely.
People With Cervical Disc Herniations Respond Well to Chiropractic Therapies
Another report from the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that people with herniated cervical discs, which exist in the neck, respond well to chiropractic treatment and reported positive results to alleviating nerve pain, neck pain, and pain into their upper extremities (e.g., shoulders).
If you would like to learn more about how chiropractic treatment may benefit you, our physicians can answer any questions you have about our therapies during your appointment.
Schedule a Cape Coral Herniated Disc Treatment Assessment
If you or a loved one has a herniated disc injury and suffers significant pain and inflammation because of it, a chiropractor at Specific Care Chiropractic wants to examine your condition and see what type of treatments you need. Our physicians can build a herniated disc treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms and restore your condition.
Schedule your first appointment at our Cape Coral office location by calling (239) 369-9109. Your first appointment will involve a consultation, a physical examination, and other exams (e.g., X-rays) to assess the severity of your herniation.