Discs are the flexible cushions of tissue that separate the vertebrae in your spine. Sometimes, these discs rupture and the soft tissue inside protrudes through the outer layer, resulting in a herniated disc. If this happens, it can be painful and disabling. Graham Robson, DC, of Blackwell Chiropractic serving the Park Cities and University Park neighborhoods of Dallas, is an expert at diagnosing and treating herniated discs. If you think you have a herniated disc and want relief, just come on into the practice. You can also book an appointment online or over the phone.
Spinal discs help you move your spine freely and protect your vertebrae from rubbing together. They also cushion the bones and prevent damage from impact injuries. As you age, the discs can deteriorate and become less resilient and lead to a rupture.
Damage can occur from making movements that younger discs could withstand. The most common cause of a rupture is from using unsafe lifting techniques. Some people may be more at risk from disc herniation, especially if they:
The best way to prevent disc problems is to stay physically fit and make sure you always follow recommended procedures for lifting and doing heavy manual work.
Your symptoms will depend upon which discs are affected. Most patients experience herniated discs in the lumbar vertebrae of the lower back or the cervical vertebrae in the neck.
If the affected disc is in your lower back, pain is likely to be concentrated in your legs and buttocks, possibly even reaching your foot. You may have trouble walking and find yourself prone to stumbling or tripping. You’ll typically feel numbness, tingling, and weakness in one or both of your legs.
If the affected disc is in your neck, the pain will be more severe in your arms and shoulders. You may find you have trouble carrying, holding, or lifting objects that wouldn’t usually be a problem. You’ll probably experience numbness, tingling, and weakness in one or both of your arms.
Occasionally, people with herniated discs aren’t aware of them until they’re detected through X-rays or other diagnostic imaging tests.
It’s important to rest your back in the initial stages to allow the inflammation to subside and to allow healing to begin. It’s important that you don’t immobilize yourself, though, because your body will stiffen up. Dr. Graham uses several treatment methods that are effective for herniated discs, and when you visit him, he’ll recommend the best treatment based on your symptoms and medical history. The options may include:
Spinal decompression helps ease the vertebrae apart, allowing room for the ruptured disc to move back into its correct position. During spinal decompression therapy, you lay horizontally on a motorized treatment table. A harness around your hips keeps you attached to the bottom section of the table, which is the part that moves. The top part of the table, where your upper body lays, stays fixed in position. As the table moves back and forth, the motion gently pulls on your vertebrae, stretching and relaxing your spine.
Pelvic blocking techniques work in a similar way to spinal decompression, but manual manipulation is used rather than a motorized table. Cushion wedges support your pelvis while Dr. Graham manipulates your spine to move the disc carefully back into place.
Dr. Graham is a skilled, experienced chiropractor who offers caring, personalized services for all of his patients. If you have a herniated disc and want relief, just come on into Blackwell Chiropractic. You can also book an appointment online or over the phone.