Herniated discs are commonly associated with auto accidents, although they can also be the result of falls, sports injuries, and improper lifting techniques. Chiropractic adjustments are just one element in an effective medical treatment plan. At Premier Wellness Group, Dr. Patrick King and his team offer chiropractic services and rehabilitation programs that benefit patients suffering from herniated discs. If you live in the Cape Coral area of southwest Florida, and suffer from a herniated disc, please call the office or make an appointment online today.
Your spinal column is made up of bones, called vertebrae, with discs between them that serve as shock absorbers. The discs have a tough outer layer with a soft core. When the outer layer tears or ruptures, and the soft material inside leaks out, you have a herniated or ruptured disc, which may press on local nerves, causing intense pain and discomfort.
A herniated disc can result from improper lifting techniques, auto accidents, falls, or other types of trauma. Degenerative disc disease or general wear and tear that occurs as part of the aging process can also contribute to herniated discs.
Herniated discs occur most often in the lumbar spine of the lower back, and you may have any or all of the following symptoms:
If the herniated disc is in the cervical spine of your neck, you may have pain, tingling, or numbness radiating from your neck to your shoulder and arm. If you have muscle weakness, you may have trouble with dropping items from the affected arm and hand.
When you come to the office, Dr. King inquires about your medical history and asks you to describe the injury or progression of your herniated disc symptoms. Depending on your pain level, he may gently move your body to see which positions cause you the most pain.
Dr. King performs a thorough physical exam, including orthopedic and neurological assessments, and X-rays or MRI or CT imaging, if needed. He may order blood tests to determine if infection or inflammation is present, or do an electromyogram (EMG) to see which nerves the herniated disc is affecting.
Based on the severity and location of your herniated disc, Dr. King and his team develop a treatment plan, which may include:
Trigger points are knots in the muscle that can irritate nearby nerves. Trigger point therapy can relieve pain by loosening the affected muscle, thereby relieving pressure on the nerve.
Herniated discs are often treated by chiropractic adjustments that apply light pressure to the vertebrae, allowing them to gradually move back into their normal position.
Many patients benefit from spinal decompression, which uses traction that gently stretches the spine, reduces the pressure, and allows the disc to return to its normal shape and position within the spinal column. Enhanced blood flow to the area brings more nutrients, which fosters healing.
Treating herniated discs in the earliest stages hastens the healing process and helps prevent long-term discomfort.