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Although herniated discs are some of the more common injuries we see in our patients, they can still cause significant pain and other symptoms. Fortunately, our chiropractor in Lubbock, TX is skilled at diagnosing and treating herniated discs. Particularly if you’re new to chiropractic treatments, you may have some questions about how it all works, and we’ve provided answers to some of the most common inquiries we encounter below.
Your spinal discs are essentially cushions that sit between each pair of vertebrae, providing shock absorption and allowing for movement of the joint. They’re made up of two sections, with the tougher and more fibrous outer layer enclosing the softer inner core. A herniated disc occurs when some sort of stress or trauma causes the inner core to bulge outward, stretching or leaking through the outer layer.
A herniated disc can be caused by an acute injury, such as may be sustained through improper lifting. It can also develop due to the deterioration that results from natural aging processes. Essentially, a herniated disc results any time there is weakening or damage to the outer layer of the disc that allows the inner layer to protrude or leak out.
In general, herniated discs cause pain that radiates out from the spot of the injury, often continuing down an arm or leg. This is nerve pain that results from pinching or irritation of the nerve root in the area of the herniated disc. Pain coming from the disc itself, which is also referred to as axial pain, is more common with degenerating discs rather than those that have sustained an acute injury.
To diagnose a herniated disc, our chiropractor will perform a thorough physical exam, review your medical history, and discuss the nature and progression of your symptoms with you. We may also recommend an x-ray to get a more complete picture of what is causing your symptoms.
Engaging in proper lifting techniques, particularly when it comes to lifting heavy objects, is one good way to reduce your chances of suffering a herniated disc. You should also try to avoid lifting and twisting, and we’ll teach you some stretches and exercises that can strengthen the associated structures to ensure they’re providing adequate support to your spine. Visiting our office for routine chiropractic adjustments will also give us the opportunity to correct minor misalignments that can make you more susceptible to this type of injury.
To treat your herniated disc, our chiropractor will utilize a number of different treatment options depending on the location and specifics of your injury. This treatment typically involves the use of a state-of-the-art spinal decompression table, which gently stretches your spine, allowing the disc to return to its proper position and for increased diffusion of water and nutrients to the site of the injury. We may also perform gentle chiropractic adjustments where indicated.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with our Lubbock chiropractor, call Lubbock Advanced Physical Medicine today at (806) 791-3399.