Back pain plagues an astounding 16 million people each year. And if you’re one of them, you don’t just suffer from chronic pain, you also have to take a step back from normal life, if your back pain limits your movement and stops you from doing the things you love.
The causes of back pain are myriad, but one of the most common is having a herniated disc. Here, we go into what constitutes a herniated disc, as well as symptoms and a particularly successful treatment: spinal decompression.
Dr. Jacob Holdren, Dr. Steven Foley, and the entire Regenerative Health & Medicine Wellness Center team offer highly customized treatments for many back problems, as well as for other conditions, including herniated discs.
Your discs: Tough, yet vulnerable
Your discs are the protective, sturdy, yet flexible shock absorbers in between your vertebrae. A disc has a hard outer shell (the annulus), but the center of each disc (the nucleus) is just the opposite: soft and cushy.
When the soft center of your disc breaks through its shell due to a minute tear, you’re dealing with a herniated disc — also known as a ruptured disc.
How do I know I have a herniated disc?
Watch out for certain symptoms that point to a ruptured disc:
1. The location of your pain
Although a herniated disc can happen anywhere in your back, the most common place is in your lower back, or lumbar spine. If pain starts radiating from there, it’s a sign you could have a herniated disc.
2. Your back pain gets worse with activity
Typically, herniated disc discomfort is exacerbated by movement and improves when you’re at rest. “Movement” doesn’t have to mean vigorous activity like playing sports, however. Something as minor as a sneeze can touch off major discomfort.
3. Pain that radiates
Herniated disc pain often starts in your back (the lower back is most common as we mentioned), but it spreads downward into your buttocks, thighs, and calves, and even your foot or arm.
4. Other discomforts in addition to pain
Pain isn’t the only thing that accompanies a ruptured disc. You may also notice overall weakness, as well as numbness and tingling in your back.
Factors that put you at higher risk for a herniated disc are age (as time passes, your discs degenerate), extra pounds, a family history of disc herniation, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and believe it or not, smoking, which starves your discs of needed oxygen.
When you visit our office with a suspected herniated disc, we have an in-depth discussion with you about your history of pain and your medical history, and we might recommend imaging tests to get a better look at what’s going on.
Treatment that heals herniated discs
Fortunately, Regenerative Health & Wellness Medical Center offers effective treatments for herniated disc pain that allow you to get back in the game of life again — at full speed.
First, chiropractic care is a must. We’ve found that spinal decompression provides great relief and restored mobility to those experiencing disc herniation. The goal behind the treatment is to gently and little by little, elongate your spine. This creates negative pressure within your discs, which:
- Alleviates pressure on your pinched nerves
- Enables the nucleus to return to the center of the disc
- Corrects the position of your bulging disc(s)
Spinal decompression rejuvenates your spine by attracting healing elements to your discs, such as fluid, oxygen, and various nutrients.
What’s spinal decompression treatment like?
We perform treatment gently, so it’s comfortable. During your session, which lasts about half-an-hour, we provide a harness that we ensure fits you properly. You receive treatment while reclining on a motorized treatment table.
During the treatment, you don’t feel anything sudden. Your spine is elongated slowly and pressure is noticeably reduced.
Most patients feel no discomfort unless they have extreme disc damage, but if at any point you do, you simply press a safety switch and the decompression process ceases immediately. Patients who have sustained seriously injured discs may feel at least some discomfort during their initial treatments, but it typically fades as treatment progresses. comfort.
Generally, patients receive 12-20 treatments over a 4-6-week period. However, since we personalize your treatment, you may need fewer or more decompression sessions depending on your pain.
Our patients consistently report that their disc pain is noticeably relieved after their first few treatments, and greatly reduced or eradicated after the full course of spinal decompression treatment. Even better, they can fully participate in life again, and all their favorite activities.
Call our Holly or Colorado Springs, Colorado, office to schedule an appointment to see if spinal decompression treatment may be the right treatment for your herniated disc pain and help you avoid surgery. You can also contact us through our website.