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A herniated disc—or as the popular term for it goes, slipped disc—occurs when there are cracks in the outer layer of the discs because of which the material inside starts pushing out. It can sometimes go unnoticed until a major symptom occurs. There are many reasons why herniated discs can occur. It could be because of an injury, bad posture, pressure on spine due to being overweight, weak muscles, etc.
There are many treatment options for a herniated disc. These vary from surgical treatment options to non-surgical treatment options like physical therapy, medication, etc. Another effective, non-surgical treatment option is a chiropractor for a herniated disc in the back. Here’s what a chiropractor’s treatment involves and all that you should know about it.
A chiropractor is a healthcare professional who works and treats neuromuscular problems. A chiropractor treats medical problems by adjusting or manipulating the spine. The logic behind treating the body’s musculoskeletal structure to treat problems is that if the body’s spine i.e. the musculoskeletal structure is aligned properly, then the body will heal on its own without the need for any surgery or medication.
For a herniated disc a chiropractor will firstly take a brief from you of your medical history, do a physical exam, maybe do some orthopaedic and neurological tests. With these tests a chiropractor will determine whether your reflexes are working well, assess muscle strength, and look for any muscle sensation. For further understanding of your spine, the chiropractor may order an X-ray or MRI.
The chiropractor will then examine your entire spine to see the overall functioning of it. Depending on the diagnosis of your injury, your chiropractor will decide which treatment option to go for. Not all injuries or candidates are suitable for all chiropractic treatments, that’s why it’s important for the chiropractor to examine your spine and injury before starting the treatment. If you have other serious spinal problems like extreme loss of strength, reflexes, or sensation, then he/ she might refer you to a spine surgeon.
There are several chiropractic treatments that might be suitable for your herniated disc. These may include spinal manipulation, which is also known as adjustments, which help in treating the symptoms of a herniated disc. It will further include manual therapy and therapeutic exercises as well. The treatment plan for your herniated disc will also depend on the extent of the injury, level of pain, overall health, and other medical factors which your chiropractor will consider important for the success of the treatment.
Your chiropractor will also discuss techniques to eliminate and self manage pain, which will come in handy for you in your daily life. You will also receive tips and instructions on the correct posture that you should maintain, not only for a speedy recovery of your herniated disc but also for a healthy spine. He/ she will also continuously monitor your treatment and make any changes if required. You should make sure that you keep your chiropractor well-informed of any side effects that you might be facing due to the treatment. If it causes you any discomfort or any other medical issue, you must be vocal about it to your doctor. In case the treatment causes you discomfort, your chiropractor will mostly change the course of treatment or refer to some other speciality doctor.
Before you go through with any treatment plan, it’s important to ask all the questions that you might have and be fully satisfied with what your chiropractor has in mind for you. You might also have to make some lifestyle changes to support your ongoing treatment. Also, remember that eating, drinking and living healthy will speed up any recovery process so give yourself a good diet when getting yourself treated for a herniated disc.