When it comes to back pain, there are three words no one wants to hear.
Lumbar. Disc. Herniation.
Often, the first solution that comes to mind when it comes to this painful and often debilitating condition is surgery. However, risks associated with anesthesia and nerve damage often dissuade people from going under the knife. Fortunately, there is a third, non-invasive alternative to surgery or just “living with it”.
What is Lumbar Disc Herniation?
Before you can understand treating a lumbar disc herniation, it is important to understand what it is. In between the vertebrae in your spine are fluid-filled discs. These discs have a thick, rubbery, protective outer coating that allows them to act like shock absorbers in your spine. Every time you sit, stand, walk, jump, or otherwise move, the bones in your spine are protected from rubbing against each other by these intervertebral discs. Arthritis, injury, or other conditions that force the spine out of alignment put pressure on the discs in your spine. These discs may begin to bulge from extra pressure placed on them. If left untreated, the disc ruptures, or herniates. In the case of lumbar disc herniation, this process happens in the lower back or lumbar area of the spine.
Relieve the Pressure
Fortunately, the body is great at healing itself if it is given the proper tools. The first step in treating lumbar disc herniation is relieving the pressure on the disc. This is done by realigning the spine and creating more intervertebral space using a variety of non-invasive therapeutic techniques.
In the case of lumbar disc herniation, many patients do not just experience low back pain, but also pain, burning, numbness, or tingling down one or both legs. This happens when the herniated disc begins pressing on the nerves in the spine, cutting off their ability to effectively send and receive messages to other areas of the body. Chiropractic adjustment effectively realigns the spine, relieving pressure on both the herniated disc and the surrounding nerves. Many people report an immediate relief from the radiating pain, numbness, or tingling once the spine is in place. While many people associate chiropractic care with forcible bending and twisting, there are many chiropractic techniques that use low-force methods that do not exacerbate the pain a person is experiencing.
Once the spine has been realigned, it is important to give the herniated disc more space between the vertebrae in order to begin healing. This is done through spinal decompression. Treatments are non-invasive, painless, and last around 20 minutes. The patient lays in a comfortable position on the decompression table and belted to a computer. Precise amounts of counterweight are applied to the spine, allowing the vertebrae to open up and the discs to return to their proper position. In as few as six to ten treatments, patients report significant pain relief.
Surgery is not necessary to heal lumbar disc herniation. However, you do need to give your body the proper tools it needs to heal itself. Call Sandstone or schedule your comprehensive exam with x-rays online.