Many things in life, such as accidents, repetitive movements, disease, or even simply moving incorrectly, that may result in some sort of back issue. The intensity of the discomfort may fall anywhere on the scale ranging from mildly uncomfortable to intensely debilitating. One spinal condition that can seriously effect one’s ability to move comfortably is a herniated disc.
Often called prolapsed, or slipped disks, this situation occurs when there is an issue with the rubbery cushions positioned between each of the bones in the spinal column. A disk is shaped like a doughnut, and has a strong outer rim and a much softer center part. Its purpose is to absorb impact from movement and keep the vertebra which comprise the spine, from rubbing one another.
Weakness, sudden impact, or accident are examples of factors that might suddenly force the soft middle of the disk to begin protruding through the firmer outside, weakening it. The location of the abnormality can cause the individual pain in their back ranging from mild to extreme. If a spinal nerve becomes compressed because of the protrusion, numbness may occur in the area surrounding it or in an appendage.
The first signs that one may have a condition that needs to be treated by a doctor are the numbing and pain. Through diagnostic imaging such as a myelogram, MRI, CAT scan, or X-ray, the problem can be identified and pinpointed. Chiropractors approach the issue with a plan that is non-surgical and does not involve the use of pharmaceutical grade drugs.
A chiropractor is going to do an evaluation of the individual’s entire spine – not just the part a patient feels is the problem. The reason for this is because although it may not be immediately evident to the patient, their issue could be the result or cause of a misalignment in a different vertebral region. Chiropractic medicine is concerned with addressing the root of a problem over simply alleviating symptoms.
The main way in which disk issues are typically addressed are through a procedure called flexion-distraction. It is a technique wherein the patient lies on a uniquely designed table which is used to gently stretch one’s spinal column using a progression of movements that gently pump the spine. The movement helps the nucleus pulposus return to the center area and it can also relieve pain, inflammation, and pressure from compressed or irritated nerves.
A person needs to understand that this is an issue that is unlikely to be immediately corrected since time is required for the nucleus to be retracted and the disk to resume its proper shape. Flexion-distraction may be used in conjunction with other techniques such as ultrasound, exercise, muscle stimulation, nutritional supplements, supplementation, and physiotherapy. The exact plan of approach is based on specific patient needs and will be determined by the doctor.
Not everyone is suited for the flexion-distraction technique, so a chiropractor might decide to utilize spinal manipulation or alternate approaches to address the issue. If they think that a patient’s situation is to the point where it may be necessary to consider surgical procedures, a referral to a physician will be made. In chiropractic care, the focus is on determining what causes the pain and finding a way to alleviate it as completely as possible for better wellness.
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Author: Linda MurrayThis author has published 1 articles so far.