New Research Sheds Light On A Painful Topic
Disc herniations plague millions of people every year. The most common route taken by most seeking pain relief comes from strong medication, cortisone shots, and back surgery. Back pain can be so severe that many suffering from such stabbing and burning pain resort to anything that produces even the slightest bit of comfort. Sleep becomes a chore and evening rest tends to be the worst for those suffering from the pain of a disc herniation. No amount of positioning provides enough pain relief to sleep as the minutes dwindle by before the start of another pain-filled workday. Solutions outside of drugs and surgery exist that reduce pain and promote healing for those suffering from disc herniations.
Sometimes people call a herniation a slipped disc. That image proves inaccurate because the discs within the spine cannot slip. The discs in the spine look somewhat like two dinner plates stacked with a water balloon in between them. The plates represent the bones, and the water balloon represents the gel comprising an intervertebral disc. Injuries, degeneration, continuous wear and tear, or a combination of all these factors cause a part of the water balloon to tear. The tear forces the gel-like substance to protrude outside the balloon. This resembles the mechanism of what happens with a herniated disc.
The cartilage material on the outside of the disc tears, and a gel-like substance protrudes out into the spinal canal. Discomfort and pressure on the nerves produce burning and stabbing pain along the path of the nerve. Disc herniations can heal without surgery and many therapies have been proven to help people suffering from disc herniations. Disc decompression, nutrition, lifestyle modifications, and natural therapies represent some pathways to success.
Research from 2014 studied a group of adults living with back pain, leg pain, and disc herniations (confirmed by an MRI). The patients receiving low back adjustments from a chiropractor achieved extraordinary results. The percentage of patients in this study reporting substantial improvement after one month of care was close to 80%. Approximately 90% of patients with back pain, leg pain, and disc herniations reported significant benefits from spinal adjustments after six months.
Unaddressed spinal subluxations also represent a cause of disc herniations. Proactive chiropractic care serves as a method of prevention evident in the research study. Chiropractors do not specifically target herniated discs or other symptoms related to the spine. A chiropractic adjustment improves spinal mobility and alignment and reduces interference in the nervous system to allow the body to better heal itself. Chiropractic represents a front-line option for those suffering from back pain, sciatica, or disc related issues. Options exist for those faced with a decision regarding whether or not to pursue invasive care like spinal surgery or the risk of powerful and addicting pharmaceuticals. Pain relief exists with chiropractic care.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics March-April 2014
“Outcomes of acute and chronic patients with magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed symptomatic lumbar disc herniations receiving high-velocity, low-amplitude, spinal manipulative therapy: a prospective observational cohort study with one-year follow-up.” Serafin Leemann, Cynthia K Peterson, Christof Schmid, Bernard Anklin, Kim Humphreys