Chiropractic care for spinal disc problems is steadily increasing in popularity. As more and more research proves the effectiveness for chiropractic for these types of problems, doctors and therapists are incorporating it into treatment plans for their patients.
Spinal disc problems can be debilitating, causing significant pain and severely limiting mobility. Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common spinal problems, causing back pain that, like other spinal conditions, can extend into the hip and leg or even the arm and hand.
It is caused by degeneration or thinning of the spinal joints or discs which can disrupt the mechanics of the spine and contribute to bulging discs that press on spinal nerves. Traditional treatment of this condition usually consists of strong pain medication and sometimes surgery.
Patients who are dealing with pain from discs that are bulging or ruptured as well as herniated, or slipped discs, do respond well to chiropractic care. Where surgery has long been a primary medical answer to pain relief for these spinal conditions, chiropractic treatments offer a nonsurgical alternative that has been shown to be very effective.
Most spinal or disc problems are marked by a specific set of symptoms including neck and back pain, stiffness, arm pain, leg pain, and tenderness in the spinal muscles or the spine itself. Other more serious symptoms can present at the onset of the condition or over a period of time. These symptoms indicate a dangerous problem that could even be life threatening; they include:
- Back pain accompanied by fever
- Loss of control of bladder or bowel
- Severe weakness that inhibits the ability to use arms, legs, walk, etc.
- Loss of sensation in both arms and/or both buttocks
- Inability to defecate or urinate
More serious or life threatening symptoms may require medical intervention, but most spinal conditions can be helped or even corrected with chiropractic care.
Through the careful, precise manipulation of the spine, a chiropractor can make adjustments to the body that help relieve the pain and pressure. This treatment can halt the debilitating progression of certain spinal problems while relieving pain and increasing mobility.
Spinal problems are usually diagnosed by a combination of complete physical examination and a thorough patient history. During the examination the patient’s musculoskeletal and nervous systems are carefully assessed. A doctor of chiropractic will examine the patient by moving the patient into different positions using their legs, arms, and back while applying pressure to the joints. Other diagnostic tools include x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
The preferable course of treatment for spinal problems is more conservative in nature. The earlier the problem can be diagnosed and treatment can begin, the better. There are several different treatments that a doctor of chiropractic may do to control and treat the pain. Modalities such as heat and ice applied to the affected area have been proven effective in controlling injury related pain in the lower back.
Movement is also crucial to healing and the sooner the patient gets back on their feet, the better. For most injuries or back problems, those problems are exacerbated when the patient stays in bed or coddles their back instead of walking and moving. It can result in long term back problems.
Spinal manipulation by a doctor of chiropractic has been proven to be an effective, safe treatment for disc problems and associated pain. In some cases therapeutic exercise may be added to the treatment and this too has been shown to be very effective.
In most cases, chiropractic care is sufficient and surgery of the spine or injections are unnecessary to manage the problems. In fact, these more invasive therapies often create more problems than they cure. Chiropractic care should be the first course of action for spine related pain, injury, or problems. So if you or a loved one are suffering from spinal disc problems, make sure you give us a call. We’re here to help!