Around the country, millions of Americans are suffering from either acute or chronic back pain. For thousands of these people, the cause of their pain is a phenomenon known as a spinal disk herniation.
Causes of Herniated Disks
Spinal disks are small, round, gel- and fibrous-like structures between the spinal bones (called vertebrae). Spinal disks increase spine flexibility, protect the spinal cord, and act as shock absorbers.
A herniation occurs when the disk slips out of place (due to tears in its outer tissue) and protrudes out between two vertebrae. This can happen due to an unusual or high force on the spine, such as when a person slips or lifts a heavy object with poor body mechanics. A slipped disk can be very painful, and may cause pressure on spinal root nerves, as well as inflammation and injury to surrounding structures, like nearby ligaments.
Symptoms of Herniated Disks
The most common symptoms of a herniated disk include:
- Pain in the back or neck
- Pain in the legs or arms (due to pressure on spinal nerves that exit at the level of the herniation and go on to innervate the limbs)
- Sore, tender muscles
In rare instances, a disk herniation can be so severe that it protrudes against the spinal cord itself. This causes symptoms such as bladder incontinence and a sudden inability to walk or use the arms. Any of these symptoms require immediate medical attention.
Treatments of Herniated Disks
A chiropractor is often the first healthcare professional consulted following a back injury. At Chiropractic First, we rely on our whole-body approach to health and wellness to help find relief. Here’s how:
- Chiropractic adjustments, also known as spinal manipulations, can greatly reduce pain and stiffness associated with disk herniations. To perform an adjustment, a chiropractor uses his or her hands to direct a high velocity force on a specific area of the spine.
- Spinal decompression is another technique used by chiropractors to treat disk herniations. This technique involves the use of straps or other specialized equipment to apply a gentle pulling or “distraction” force in the spine. This creates space between the vertebrae and reduces pressure on the herniated disk. This technique can even help the herniated disk slip back into the correct position.
Looking for relief from your back pain? Visit Chiropractic First
If you are suffering from acute or chronic back pain, and are interested in learning more about the chiropractic treatments we offer, visit us at our Wyoming, MI location to speak with a chiropractor. We look forward to meeting you!