Bulging and Herniated discs
The vertebral discs are made of a tough outer layer and soft inner gelatin-like center. When a disc is herniated, there is actually a crack in the outer layer that allows the softer inner core to protrude out. A bulging disc differs in that there is no leaking of the inner core. In this case, the outer layer is intact but bulging out in a place where the outer wall has weakened. Where they are the same is the excruciating pain caused by both instances.
Patients with either herniated or bulging discs may show symptoms and feel pain in different organs depending on where the damaged disc is located. This can result in muscle weakness, tingling sensation in your legs, numbness in extremities, pain while moving your arms or neck, etc. Bulging discs typically develop as you age and your body loses some of its natural hydration, meaning the inner fluid of the discs. A herniated disc can occur spontaneously due to an acute injury or other sudden trauma, but it often starts as a bulging disc.
How Can A Chiropractor Help?
Chiropractic treatment is non-invasive and varies significantly from other therapies. During an examination, the chiropractor evaluates the entire spine, focusing on the area which is causing the pain. Orthopedic and neurological exams help chiropractors determine muscle strength, proper reflexes, and sensation along the path of the nerve. In addition to these exams a full medical history is taken to help evaluate the condition. Once a diagnosis is made, the chiropractor will work with patients on a treatment plan that best addresses symptoms and the underlying issues.
Chiropractic techniques and spinal adjustments will vary according to each individual case. Gently, and with non forced movements, the pressure is taken off the spinal nerves that might be injured due to bulging or herniated discs. These corrections can reduce inflammation while also taking pressure off of nerve roots. This technique increases the range of motion of the spine and improves its overall function. Results can further be enhanced by also incorporating acupuncture, stretching, and strengthening exercises for the back or neck.
Most disc related back issues will respond to the treatment methods chiropractic can provide. Evidence has shown that in many cases, it can be just as effective for pain relief as surgery. It makes sense that given the choice between surgery and therapy, most patients would gladly choose the latter. Additionally, being able to achieve this without having to use drugs is another reason one would opt for chiropractic care. That said, taking a conservative medical approach should be your first step in getting relief. When the inflammation is reduced, healing can begin and overall mobility is improved so you can return to a healthy, pain-free life.