Chiropractic for herniated discs is a common treatment chosen by many patients who embrace this alternative approach to back pain therapy. Chiropractic is the world’s third largest healthcare profession and has established itself as a mainstay in the back care industry.
This article will take an in-depth look at chiropractic treatment for a variety of intervertebral disc pathologies. We will explore the pros, cons and limitations of chiropractic, as well as the expectations for positive curative results.
Chiropractors consider the body to be a roadmap of nerve pathways leading to and from the spine. The spine is the neurological super highway which transmits all the motor, sensory and autonomic functions to and from the brain.
Chiropractors believe that the spinal bones must be in perfect alignment in order to enjoy optimal nerve function, and therefore health, throughout the body. Vertebrae are the bones which make up the spine and are subject to individual movement. When a vertebra is out of place, it is said to be subluxated. Vertebral subluxations are the focus of most chiropractic treatment.
Chiropractors will perform a manual spinal exam to check for subluxations and then treat affected areas using specialized techniques called spinal adjustments.
When a known intervertebral herniation is being targeted, the chiropractic practitioner will use specific varieties of manipulations, usually in combination with other care modalities, such as massage or TENS, to provide case-specific treatment.
While chiropractic theory might be correct in many ways and manual adjustments may be very useful for a wide range of painful conditions, chiropractic typically will not resolve a herniated disc condition. Occasionally, a chiropractic patient will experience a reduction in the severity of a herniation from regular adjustments. This is especially true if the chiropractor is trained in manual decompression methods, such as Cox Technic. Chiropractic will sometimes provide symptomatic relief to disc pain patients, but will not usually change the structural implications of a herniated disc.
Chiropractic is even less effective at dealing with degenerative disc disease. The spinal aging processes are not reversible, so virtually any pain which may actually come from DDD is unlikely to respond to manual spinal manipulation. The exception may be in patients who demonstrate misaligned foraminal openings due to severe disc dessication and subluxations. Adjustments may provide substantial relief in these particular circumstances.
Although I do not agree with many of the high pressure sales tactics used by some chiropractors, I am still a fan of this wonderful curative art. Chiropractic offers excellent results for treating certain types of back. neck and sciatica pain. It is especially effective for treating sudden minor injuries due to some form of trauma.
I count many chiropractors among my friends and feel lucky to be able to rely on their considerable knowledge and healing skills. That being said, I do not endorse the long-term use of chiropractic for most herniated disc patients. Many care providers will tell you that you must have adjustments for the rest of your life or something horrible will happen to your back. Of course, the wording is slightly more subtle, but the message is loud and clear.
Many critics say: don’t believe the hype. Go when you need it, save your money when you don’t. Now, if you subscribe to the idea that chiropractic is necessary for a healthy life, then this is another matter altogether. In these instances, maybe continuing care is the best solution for you.
I used chiropractic as my primary herniated disc treatment for 18 years. I have been treated by dozens of chiropractors all around the world. I never left home without having at least one on call. Looking back, I realize that I had an extreme psychological dependency on chiropractic adjustments, but they actually never made a bit of difference in solving my back pain agony.
I received adjustments and I hurt. I did not get adjustments and I hurt. I just hurt all the time. I have not seen a chiropractor in many years now. I have to say, I do not miss it.