Most Cleveland residents will experience some form of back problem at least once during the course of their lives – a mild muscle pull or general temporary pain to more severe, even debilitating, problems related to the spine and its surrounding structures.
Your spine is a vertical column in your back that provides support and stability to your body and helps to send signals from the brain to the rest of the body as part of the central nervous system. It is made of a spinal cord containing blood vessels and nerves, ligaments, tissues, 33 vertebrae or bones and semi-rigid cartilage like discs with soft centers between each bone that supply the spine with shock absorption and stability.
A herniated disc describes a condition when a disc slips out from between two vertebrae (subluxation), degenerates and ruptures or becomes injured to the point that the soft center leaks into the spinal column; or any combination of these issues. A changed disc position or leakage can result in pain if the disc or leaked material presses on nerves or blood vessels. It can also cause misalignment of the spine resulting in muscular problems. A herniated disc can happen naturally over time as your body ages. It can also occur from a trauma or injury related to single or repetitive actions such as bending, heavy lifting or accidents.
Symptoms of Herniated Discs
Symptoms of a herniated disc vary depending on the extent of the problem as well as the location of the disc. You can have a herniated disc for many years before you experience any symptoms. Cervical herniated discs, discs that bulge or leak in the neck, can cause neck and shoulder pain that radiates down the arms and into the hands. You can experience muscle weakness, tingling, and numbness. A lumbar herniated disc, a herniated disc of the lower back, can cause the same symptoms in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet. Although rare, you can also experience symptoms in the thoracic or mid-region of the back. Depending on the severity of your herniated disc, you can also experience other symptoms such as stomach pain, indigestion, abdominal muscle pulling, urination or bowel movement difficulties, weak limbs or ￼problems with sitting, standing or walking. Herniated discs can also contribute to overall poor health including a weakened immune system and can affect other conditions including asthma, temporomandibular joint disorder, vertigo, migraines, Crohn’s disease, repetitive stress issues, fibromyalgia, and cancer.
In most cases, non-invasive treatment is the first step that health practitioners recommend to treat herniated discs, relieve symptoms and heal the area. Traditional non-invasive treatment includes:
• Rest, Rest, Rest
• Therapy to relieve pressure on the spine
• Correcting posture
• Strengthen muscles across the entire region
• Strengthen ligaments across the same region
In some cases, surgery to relieve pressure, stabilize, or replace the disc is recommended. Surgery is considered a last resort treatment as it doesn’t always permanently fix the problem; whereas, common non-invasive treatment plans usually help the body to heal naturally and fix itself.
Our Zannetti Chiropractic Process
A professional chiropractor takes a more, whole-body approach to herniated disc treatment and excludes medication or drugs as part of a treatment plan unless absolutely necessary. A chiropractor will evaluate your condition to find the best forms of treatment for your situation. Evaluation usually involves a review of your health history, physical examination to determine if physical abnormalities exist and diagnostic or lab testing such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or electromyography (EMG) nerve testing to confirm the extent of the damage to your disc, bones, blood vessels, and nerves.
Once the evaluation is complete, a customized treatment plan is created by Zannetti Chiropractic. Typically, the primary treatment involves spinal adjustment for pain and pressure relief. During this adjustment, our chiropractor will make a thrust-style movement against the area to apply pressure in a specific fashion that helps realign the spine and create a vacuum within the spinal column that can pull the disc back into its proper position or the soft disc material back into the disc. Chiropractor’s may use other treatments to include heat, massage therapy, a decompression table, ultrasound, electric currents, acupuncture and lifestyle changes such as the creation of diet, exercise or stress management programs or lessons to instruct you on the proper ways to lift, bend or move your body so that you won’t exacerbate your condition or re-injure the area.
As a herniated disc takes time to heal naturally and properly, a herniated disc sufferer should keep in mind that he may need to work over the course of several months, or a year to find relief. Fremont Spine and Wellness wants you to be comfortable with everyday living if you are experiencing any of the above call us 440-442-6969