Q: My primary healthcare provider recently diagnosed me with a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. They referred me to get chiropractic treatment, but I’m nervous because it’s new to me and I’m afraid of being adjusted wrong, paralyzed, etc. Can I trust chiropractic treatment to work?
A: It’s normal to be nervous about going to a chiropractic clinic.
If you’re not sure whether chiropractic is for you, there is scientific evidence that shows how chiropractic techniques like spinal manipulation/spinal adjustment and forms of manual/mechanical therapy are safe and effective for relieving pain and other musculoskeletal pain, conditions, and symptoms.
I encourage everyone to try chiropractic treatment as a non-surgical treatment option for a herniated disc.
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It Is Your Decision
At the first appointment, a chiropractor will take a medical history and perform a thorough exam to determine the nature of the symptoms and their possible causes, which include a herniated disc.
Sometimes with a herniated disc, there may be no symptoms at all.
But usually a herniated disc causes:
- Back pain
- Referred pain or pain that is felt in other parts of the body like the legs, feet, etc.
- An irritated spinal nerve can cause symptoms in the legs
This can lead to neurological symptoms like:
- Weakness in the legs
Once the chiropractor determines your symptoms, they may use one or several techniques to relieve the back pain and other symptoms.
Techniques used by chiropractors for disc-related problems include:
- Specific self-treatment exercises to improve motion & decrease back pain
- McKenzie method for relieving leg symptoms
- Cox technique like spinal traction using special tables
- Spinal manipulation
- Hands-on techniques that relieve pain and restore movement to the spine and body
These techniques have been proven to be very safe. There are other techniques a chiropractor can recommend for various conditions, as each has their own style and method.
A chiropractic treatment plan will also include:
- Self-management instructions
This is to teach you how to control/eliminate pain with proper posture and proper body mechanics.
Whichever treatment the chiropractor recommends, he or she will discuss it with you, including the benefits and risks.
Although the treatments listed above will most likely be a part of your treatment plan, your chiropractor will answer your questions and work with you to select a treatment that meets your specific goals and preferences.
Don’t Be Nervous A Chiropractor Monitors Treatment Progress
If symptoms do not improve within a reasonable time frame, then a chiropractor may refer the patient to other treatments to manage disc-related pain, including:
- Physical therapy
- Spinal injections
Fortunately, self-management and time can be the best treatment. Allowing the body to heal itself is the way to go. But if rest is not enough then chiropractic treatment may be just what is needed to kick in the body’s self-healing function.
If you decide to give chiropractic treatment a try, don’t be nervous, as a chiropractor will monitor progress throughout the treatment.
In any case, chiropractors are qualified to discuss the benefits and risks of other treatments, depending on the condition.
Hopefully, this article has given you the basics of chiropractic medicine and how it works so you can make the best choice for your herniated disc/s.
Back Pain Management
Denise was involved in an auto accident which resulted in low back pain. When she realized she couldn’t sit, walk or sleep for extended periods of time without experiencing painful symptoms, Denise found chiropractic care with Dr. Alex Jimenez in El Paso, TX. Once she received treatment for her auto accident injuries, Denise experienced relief from her symptoms and she was able to perform her everyday activities once again. Thanks to the education and care Dr. Alex Jimenez provided, Denise regained her original health and wellness.
Back pain is common, with roughly nine out of ten adults experiencing it at some time in their life, and five from ten working adults developing it every year. Some estimate around 95 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some time in their lifetime. It’s by far the usual cause of chronic pain, as it is also a significant contributor to missed work and disability. In the United States alone, acute cases of lower back pain are the fifth most common reason for physician visits and cause 40 percent of missed days off work. Furthermore, it is the only leading cause of disability globally.
A herniated disc is a common spinal condition that typically affects the cervical spine (neck region) or the lumbar spine (lower back), although it can occur in any part of the spine. Most often, a herniated disc happens at the L4 – L5 and the L5 – S1. This is because this portion of the spine, the lumbar region, bears the bulk of the body’s weight.
The information herein on "Nervous About Chiropractic Treatment for Herniated Disc" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
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