Your Healthy Back: Disc Problems
Your chiropractor can make a treatment plan to meet your needs. Work with your chiropractor to help relieve your pain from disc problems and keep it from coming back.
What You Can Do
Moving in proper ways can help prevent future back pain from disc problems. For instance, always keep your body facing the task you’re doing. Avoid twisting or bending. Also, exercise regularly to help strengthen your back and stomach muscles.
Caring for Disc Problems
Your spine is made up of bones (vertebrae) that stack together. These bones are cushioned by pads (discs). When discs are damaged, nearby nerves can be irritated. Pain can result. Common types of disc damage include degenerated discs and bulging discs. These conditions can be caused by injury and aging. Repeated strain over time can also be a cause. Chiropractic care can improve the alignment and movement of the spine. This can decrease pressure on nerves and help relieve symptoms.
Your Chiropractic Evaluation
You’re asked about your symptoms, past injuries or treatments, and overall health. You’re also asked about your daily life. This includes work habits, hobbies, and exercise.
Your chiropractor may check your reflexes. He or she may also ask you to walk on your heels or toes. Tests such as these can help the chiropractor detect nerve problems in your spine.
You may have x-rays or an MRI scan. These tests provide information about structures in the spine.
Your Treatment Plan
Your chiropractor creates a plan to care for your disc problems. This likely includes a hands-on technique called manipulation. Other treatment methods also help. In addition, you’re taught ways to help relieve pain and protect your discs.
Manipulation (also called adjustment) helps improve alignment and flexibility in the spine and joints. During manipulation, your chiropractor carefully applies pressure to affected areas. To treat disc problems, manipulation may be done to any part of the spine. This can help decrease pressure on spinal nerves.
Other treatments may be suggested. These can help reduce pain by relaxing muscles and reducing swelling. They include:
- Trigger point therapy to ease muscle tension.
- Massage, ultrasound, and muscle stimulation to relax muscles, reduce muscle spasm, and improve blood flow.
- Traction to realign the spine and reduce pressure on nerves.
- Ice to reduce swelling and heat to relax muscles.