THE WOODLANDS AND HOUSTON
Herniated Disc Treatment
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Bulging discs occur when a section of the outer wall of the disc is weakened due to pressure from weight above and protrudes beyond the vertebrae. A herniated disc can then occur when there is a tear in the weakened outer wall and it opens up allowing fluid to leak out and irritate the nearby nerves. The disc matter can cause pressure on the nerve which leads to pain down the arm or leg. A herniated disc can be the result of trauma or degeneration.
Approximately, 90% of disc herniations occur in the lower lumbar levels at L4-L5 and L5-S1. Various impingements in the neck can cause pain down the arms, and impingements in the back can cause pain down the legs. Other symptoms associated with a herniation can be weakness and decreased reflexes, along with numbness and tingling into the fingers and toes.
In most cases, if your neck or low back pain and referred symptoms from a herniated disc are going to improve, it will start to do so within about six weeks. During this time, several nonsurgical treatment options can assist in the healing process and help reduce the pain and discomfort caused by the herniated disc. The most common nonsurgical treatments include:
If the pain and other symptoms continue beyond six weeks and the pain continues to be severe, or if there is weakness, it is reasonable to consider a surgical opinion to alleviate the symptoms caused by the herniated disc.
Regular chiropractic treatment (1 visit per month) is recommended for patients once their treatment plan is completed and symptoms have resolved or have become manageable. Due to various stresses on the body (exercise, sports, stress, over-use, gravity, etc.), the spine and joints will compress over time. Regular chiropractic care has been shown to help slow down the degenerative effects on the spine by restoring normal joint movement.