A herniated or bulging disc can lead to immense pain and discomfort in the back or neck, as well as electric or gripping, even burning pain down a leg or arm. Intervertebral discs are a type of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber. It also allows for the movement of your spinal bones in relationship to one another.
These discs are much like a jelly donut with a harder, ringed outer portion called the annulus, and a more jelly-like center called the nucleus.
Too much shock or stress on a disc can cause it to rupture. The outer rings of the annulus tear and allow the jelly-like nucleus to squirt out through the tear. Typically, this happens where there is less ligament structure to stabilize the disc, which also just so happens to be very near where the nerves branch out from inside the spine to exit between the spinal bones. It can result in pressure or increased tension on a nerve and generates quite a bit of pain.
Many times, the shock only causes a bulge, not a complete tear. The bulge is the result of a weakening of the disc and isn’t necessarily painful unless the bulging part of the disc is pressing on some nerve structures. Many people have bulging discs and don’t know it.
Dr. Brett Franson, a leading chiropractor in Houston, treats patients with herniated discs using very conservative, natural, safe, and effective techniques. He also helps patients understand how to take better care of themselves when they are struggling with these types of injuries.
Caring for Someone with a disc injury and Individualized Care Plans
When a patient visits Franson Chiropractic, the team conducts a thorough examination to understand the level and degree of injury. In some cases, Dr. Franson may recommend an MRI to confirm if there is a herniation.
As part of the process, Dr. Franson embraces the power of asking great questions. Your history, background, habits, and patterns help him understand what may have led to your situation becoming so painful. Dr. Franson believes it is important for his patients to know how they got this way. As a result, they can try to prevent further injury during their care plan and healing process. Many times there is more to the issue than meets the eye, so Dr. Franson considers his patients’ entire being when addressing their problems. In this way, a patient can become aware of what they have been doing that has caused so much suffering. Furthermore, begin the process of making the necessary changes to recover and improve.
Conservative treatment for herniated discs involves spinal adjustments to restore lost function and relieve pressure on the discs and nerves to alleviate your pain. Dr. Franson also believes it is essential for you to understand what you can and cannot do. Similarly, you should know what their body is trying to tell you each step of the way. Thus, you can make wiser choices which align with your body’s natural healing abilities instead of the conventional ‘do everything you can’ approach most health care practitioners take. Many times, doing less, and knowing what to do and also what NOT to do can have tremendous value.
What Are the Causes of Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc may be a result of a single overwhelming shock such as a fall, a car accident, or sports injury. But many times, it is the result of a Chronic Adaptive Pattern.
When you feel stressed, or your back and neck have been chronically overworked from heavy lifting, lots of activity, staring down at your phone, or prolonged sitting, your back and neck muscles can stay chronically contracted. It limits the movement of your spinal structures. Normal spine movement is essential for the health of your discs since they absorb fluids from your spinal bones when you lie down and sleep at night.
Chronic stress and tight muscles cause the constraint to the process. As a result, your discs cannot rehydrate at night, so they gradually lose their water content, dry up, and become more brittle with time. These circumstances can lead to a herniated disc from something as simple as bending over, or even just sneezing.
Accidents happen. It can cause injury to discs and many times, lead to surgery.
However, for Chronic Adaptive Patterns, it is possible to restore the loss of spinal motion before the discs blow out. Here, conservative chiropractic care can be so helpful and beneficial. It is also an effective path for sufferers of bulging discs.
By releasing the stored tension around and within your spine, we can restore spinal motion so that your discs can begin to rehydrate, at least to some degree and ultimately prevent herniation from happening. If herniation has already happened, restored motion allows your spine more options for adaptation to the herniation so that it can better compensate and alleviate your pain.
It is essential to understand: Once a disc herniates, it is always herniated. You may need surgery if you can no longer function due to the injury. In case of nerve damage, or a loss of function in other body parts such as bowel or bladder, surgery is unavoidable. Absent those issues; chiropractic care can help you regain function, alleviating your pain naturally so that you can live a healthier life.
Dr. Franson himself has experienced this personally. Therefore, has the experience, not just from a doctors’ perspective, but from a patient’s perspective, to help you recover as efficiently and safely as possible.
Watch out for the following symptoms of a herniated disc:
Tenderness of the spine
Numbness or tingling in a limb
Pain in the neck or back upon sneezing or coughing and bearing down
Difficulty getting up from a seated position
Steps in the Herniated Disc Treatment:
In the initial consultation, the doctor will ask many important questions to find out what’s going on with you. The pain is just a result of the problem. Dr. Franson goes deep to identify the source of the problem.
After the first interaction, he conducts a series of tests for a thorough evaluation. These can include X-ray, CT scan, MRI, Myelogram, EMG/NCS, etc. Although these tests are rarely necessary to begin your care plan, some exam findings will necessitate the use of these imaging studies.
Once the results are in, the doctor creates simple and effective care plans that include spinal adjustments. The doctor applies small and precise forces by hand to the affected area. He also treats the other areas of malfunction that may be contributing to the issue, to restore lost function and alleviate your pain.
Axial decompression, done manually for the best control, is very effective at releasing the stress and pressure in your spine. It helps take the pressure off the discs as well, thereby speeding your recovery and getting you back to the things you love as quickly as possible.