Bulging discs are an extremely common spinal injury, with many thousands of people suffering from the condition every year. In many instances, a person with a bulging disc may not even know there is anything wrong until the condition impinges on a nerve root in the spinal column. Depending on the location of the problem, a bulging disc can cause excruciating pain, loss of range of motion, and can have other adverse effects.
Discs are the concentric rings of cartilage and other cushioning materials that separate the vertebrae and keep them from grinding against each other while the spine is in motion. A bulging disc results when age, injury, or disease causes part of the disc to protrude past the edge of the vertebra, rather like a hamburger that is too large for its bun. When the bulging disc presses on a nerve or other structure, pain and other symptoms result.
Chiropractic treatment is one of the most popular alternative medicine forms used to treat bulging discs and their symptoms.
Theories of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine, often used to complement more traditional forms of treatment, such as drug therapy and exercise. Chiropractic procedures are non-invasive and drug-free, making them an attractive conservative treatment option for back pain sufferers.
Chiropractic care has been in use since the 1890s, and is based on the concept that vertebral subluxation, or dislocations of the vertebrae and surrounding joints, are responsible not only for back pain, but for general disturbances in an individual’s health and wellness. A chiropractor uses manual manipulation techniques to try to correct these subluxations and restore health to the patient. These manipulation sessions, called “adjustments” are often supplemented with coaching on lifestyle habits, exercise, and other holistic concepts.
Chiropractic Care Process
If you decide to try chiropractic care as an alternative therapy for your bulging disc back or neck pain, here’s what you can expect during the process:
- During the initial consultation, the chiropractor will take a full medical history, vital signs, and ask you several questions. He or she will also do an examination, and may perform tests for reflexes, posture, and other physical markers. An x-ray or MRI may also be ordered.
- The chiropractor will review all the test data and make a diagnosis. Additional testing may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis. If the diagnosis warrants (i.e., an emergency or condition where chiropractic is contraindicated), the chiropractor may choose to refer you to a more appropriate source of treatment.
- The chiropractor will create and administer a formal treatment plan. This plan may involve adjustments, exercises, and other forms of alternative medicine, such as traction or ultrasound therapies. This treatment plan usually takes place over several sessions.
- If a bulging disc problem is indicated, the chiropractor will most commonly use low-force techniques to gently manipulate the spine at the site of the injury.
- The chiropractor will monitor your improvement over time, making adjustments to the treatment plan as necessary.
It is important to remember that chiropractors can only achieve short-term pain relief with these techniques. There is usually no way to “put the toothpaste back in the tube” in the case of a bulging or herniated disc. In other words, the chiropractor cannot “fix” the condition – so if you are interested in hearing about effective outpatient procedures that can help you rediscover your life without back or neck pain from bulging discs, sciatica, ruptured discs, or any other spine condition, contact Laser Spine Institute today.