Our spinal columns are intriguing and complex structures made up of interlocking muscles, fibers, ligaments, and spongy shock absorbers in between each spine vertebrae. It’s these spongy structures or spinal discs, that play such an important role in keeping our spines supple and flexible.
The discs in our spines can deteriorate over time from age and wear and tear. The discs can also tear or rupture due to a trauma or injury. This is known as a herniated disc. Sometimes you’ll also hear medical doctors refer to this condition as a “bulging disc”, or a “ruptured disc”.
The spinal discs have a tough outer layer, but within the disc there is a gel-like substance. Any damage to that outer layer, and the disc may bulge, or break open. Often this will cause the disc to press on the spinal nerves.
Since the nerves and spine are so complex, the symptoms of a herniated disc can vary. If there is little damage to the disc, there may be little or no pain. But if the damage is significant, it can result in severe low back or neck pain. The pain can lead to sciatica, a burning pain that radiates down the buttocks into the legs.
Some patients have equated the pain from herniated disc to the feeling of an electric shock. There may also be a “pins and needles” sensation, or tingling and numbness. Sometimes the pain is accompanied by muscle weakness as well. In rare cases a patient may experience bowel or bladder problems. This is a medical emergency and a patient experiencing these extreme symptoms should see a doctor immediately.
Herniated disc treatment
Medical doctors often begin by advising rest and limited physical activity. Ice packs may provide immediate pain relief, and help relax stressed muscles. If these changes don’t bring improvement, the next step is usually anti-inflammatory medications, progressing to oral steroids, narcotics, and steroid injections to the spine.
For people looking for a safe, alternative herniated disc treatment, chiropractic care tops the list. During a chiropractic visit, Dr. Mixon properly adjusts the spine to correct any spinal misalignments. This treatment alone can provide dramatic pain relief. However in many cases, Dr. Mixon will also recommend Spinal Decompression Therapy.
Spinal Decompression Therapy is a specialized herniated disc treatment with a proven record of success for patients with herniated or bulging discs. The ideal conditions provided by this advanced therapy give the body a chance to heal. Here is what one spinal decompression patient had to say about her husband’s experience, “Both my husband and I have bad backs. When we came in to see Dr. Mixon, I could barely walk because of the pain. Once we were done with the decompression machine and adjustments, it was like we had new backs and could walk out with a pep in our step ” – R & S Salicos, Watauga, TX
If you have or suspect you have a herniated disc, or have been diagnosed with sciatica, give our Garland chiropractic office a call. Our advanced herniated disc treatment options can help you get back to enjoying life faster than you thought possible!
Return to our home page for more information about the many ways Dr. Mixon and the staff of Texas Spine & Wellness can help you feel your best.