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Herniated Disc Treatment 

Have you ever experienced sudden and unexpected back pain? It can be distressing that you are sitting or standing comfortably one moment; the next, a sharp pain shoots through your lower back. It is common for this type of pain to be because of disc herniation. This article will explore the types, symptoms, causes, and various treatment options for back pain resulting from disc herniation.

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Treatment for Disc Herniation

Disc herniation is a common cause of lower back and leg pain, but there are effective treatments to ease discomfort and restore mobility. The popularity of physiotherapy and chiropractic care for treating disk herniation continues to grow.

Disc Herniation Treatment

Chiropractic Care for Herniated Disc

Chiropractic treatment focuses on improving spinal alignment, reducing pressure, and enhancing range of motion through adjustments, manual therapy, and exercises. Both approaches can be effective in reducing pain and promoting healing.

Physiotherapy for Herniated Disc

Physiotherapy uses tailored exercises to strengthen muscles, enhance flexibility, and reduce pain.

Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants are frequently used for treating mild-to-moderate pain. However, more vital prescription medication may be required in rare cases.
Epidural steroid injection is also commonly used to alleviate inflammation and pain. When non-invasive methods have failed, surgical intervention may be considered.

In general, patients usually are advised to start with a course of conservative care (non-surgical) prior to considering spine surgery for a herniated disc. Whereas this is true in general, for some patients early surgical intervention is beneficial. In such cases, without surgical intervention, nerve loss can occur and the damage may be permanent.

Experience Relief from Herniated Disc Pain at MyoDynamic Health

At MyoDynamic, we treat patients with herniated disk problems using physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment. Our physiotherapy treatment involves a combination of exercises, manual therapy, and range of motion activities to ease pain, increase flexibility, and strengthen the affected area.
Stability, core strengthening exercises, and balance training can improve spinal stability and prevent further injury. Manual therapy, including massage, joint mobilization, and spinal traction, can help to reduce pain and muscle tension and improve spinal alignment. ROM exercises, such as stretching and mobilization techniques, can increase flexibility and range of motion and reduce nerve compression.

Our chiropractic treatment involves manual therapy, spinal adjustments, and techniques such as spinal manipulation, mobilization, and decompression to improve spinal alignment, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. We may also recommend exercises to improve spinal stability, flexibility, and lifestyle modifications to reduce the risk of further injury.

Custom Treatment Plan For Disc Herniations

Chiropractor For disc herniation Barrie

At our clinic, we follow a typical 8-week treatment plan for disc herniation that involves a gradual progression of exercises and therapies to calm the pain, improve flexibility, and strengthen the affected area.

  • Week 1-2: During the first two weeks, we recommend rest, ice/heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain medications to manage pain and inflammation.
  • Weeks 2-4: From the second and fourth week, low-impact aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling can be introduced for 20-30 minutes daily. At this point, we may also include core-strengthening exercises such as the plank, bird dog, and bridge exercises to enhance spinal stability.
  • Weeks 4-6: As we move into Weeks 4-6, resistance training, such as bodyweight exercises or light weights, can be added to strengthen the core and surrounding muscles further. We may also include gentle stretches and range of motion exercises to improve flexibility.
  • Weeks 6-8: During Weeks 6 to 8, we can introduce more challenging exercises as tolerated, along with the continued focus on core and stability exercises, aerobic exercise, and stretching. We will include manual therapies, such as massage and spinal mobilization, to ease any remaining pain or tension. Additionally, we may introduce other physiotherapy activities and chiropractic care as necessary throughout the treatment plan to optimize recovery and improve outcomes.

The primary goal of treatment for each patient is to help relieve pain and other symptoms resulting from the herniated disc. To achieve this goal, each patientís treatment plan should be individualized based on the source of the pain, the severity of the pain and the specific symptoms that the patient exhibits.

A herniated disc shouldn't prevent you from going about your routine. Please make an appointment with our healthcare professionals so that we may assess your ailment and create a viable treatment program tailored to your needs. Making an appointment now is the first step toward a speedier recovery and better health and well-being in general.

What is a Herniated Disc?

The spine has disks between each vertebra. These discs promote flexibility and absorb the shock or force resulting from everyday activities. A herniated disc, also called a 'slipped,' 'ruptured,' or 'prolapsed' disc, happens when the disc's outer layer (annulus) rips. In other words, when the soft material located between the vertebrae in your spinal column shifts from its position, it is what leads to a condition called a herniated disc. This ripping causes the internal gel filling (nucleus pulposus) to protrude out of the covering and put excessive pressure on the nerve root.

Types of Disc Herniation

There are several types of herniated discs, which are classified based on their location in the spine. The following are the most common types:

  • Cervical herniated disc: occurring in the neck region, this type of herniation can cause pain, weakness, and numbness in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands.
  • Thoracic herniated disc: this type occurs in the middle back region. Its symptoms include pain and weakness, especially in the chest, stomach, or lower back.
  • Lumbar herniated disc: it occurs in the lower back. Symptoms can include pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet.
  • Lateral herniated disc: this type of herniated disc occurs on the side of the spine. Depending on the location, lateral herniated disk symptoms include pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms or legs.
  • Posterior herniated disc: it is a type of herniation that generally occurs at the back of the spine and can cause excruciating pain, numbness, and sometimes weakness in the lower back, extending to the legs and feet.

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

The symptoms of a herniated disc are usually caused by the compression of spinal nerves that emerge from the spinal column. It can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the affected area.  Sometimes, the disc may even exert pressure on the spinal cord or cauda equina. In such cases, it often leads to pain in the back and other body parts served by the compressed nerve. Also, it's common for disc fragments to break free, known as sequestration. It's important to note that herniation can happen in any disc, but the two lowermost discs that support the most weight are the most commonly affected (around 90-95% of cases).

Symptoms associated with a herniated disc include:
  • Pain and numbness, often on one side of the body
  • Radiating pain in the arms or legs
  • Aggravation of pain at night or with specific movements
  • Pain exacerbation after prolonged sitting or standing
  • Pain while walking short distances
  • Unexplained muscle weakness
  • Tingling, throbbing, particularly on the back
  • Burning sensations in the affected area.

The type of discomfort may differ from individual to individual. Consulting with a medical professional is advisable if your pain causes a lack of sensation or prickling that impairs your muscle coordination.

Causes and risk factors with Disc Herniations

The backbone is made up of vertebrae. It contains intervertebral discs with a tough outer covering and a gelatinous center. The gel-like substance in the discs allows the spine to be flexible. It also absorbs shocks between the vertebrae. As time passes or through excessive use, the intervertebral discs lose their suppleness and become stiffer. It increases the likelihood of tearing.  A herniated disc can result from a single or several forceful strains or injuries. However, as the discs degenerate because of aging, even minor movements or twists can lead to herniation in some people. Risk factors for herniated discs include:

  • The inevitable effects of growing older
  • Bearing extra weight (putting too much pressure on the spinal column)
  • Smoking (which can expedite the deterioration of discs)
  • Incorrect lifting form (depending on the back instead of the legs to hoist heavy items)
  • Repetitive and demanding tasks (certain professions involve frequent lifting and twisting)
  • Living a physically inactive lifestyle (which can cause the muscles supporting the spinal column to weaken).

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