Back pain can be frustrating and debilitating. If you are experiencing discomfort, it is important to understand the underlying cause and treat it to reduce the pain. Many doctors will either suggest meds to mask the pain or surgery for the “quick fix” (without really going over the invasive procedure and the risks involved). Before ignoring your problem or jumping to the last resort treatment plan, you should consider how chiropractic care may help.
How Do You Know if You Have a Herniated Disc?
A slipped or herniated disc is more common than you might think. Your spine consists of 33 small vertebrae bones, separated by a soft jellylike substance to cushion them. Even doing very common things, like watching TV from the couch, can lead to a disc slipping out of place. When a disk isn’t in the right place, it may put pressure on the nerves, causing a lot of pain. If you think you may have a herniated disc, you will likely notice:
- Pain stemming from a specific part along the backbone (particularly the lower part just above the hips)
- Pain that radiates down into the buttocks, thighs and even the calves
- Pain that worsens with activity and improves with rest
- Pain when coughing, sneezing or certain positions that aggravate the pinched nerves
- Increased age (discs are more likely to break down)
In most cases, your doctor will only need to do a physical exam to see if you are experiencing a herniated disc, bulging disc or ruptured disc. Your Kenosha chiropractor can help you determine the root cause of your back pain and consider treatment options to help heal your body. A chiropractor may want to use additional tests, like X-Ray, if there is a chance something else is causing the pain.
Does Chiropractic Care Work for Disc Herniation?
Chiropractic therapy has been shown time and time again to improve musculoskeletal issues. The therapy methods your chiropractor will use are safe and will help your body relax to increase healing. Your chiropractor is only going to recommend treatment if he is sure the therapy will help your specific condition. With a herniated disc, chiropractors can help manipulate the spine and surrounding muscles to provide the slipped or bulging disc with more space.
If you are hurting, please call our office and set up an appointment right away. We want to help you relieve your pain as quickly as possible and begin the path toward healing. Between now and your appointment, there are some things you can do to help ease your back pain at home. While some patients need surgery, we find that many get relief from chiropractic care and are able to avoid the more invasive options.
What Should I Do at Home for a Herniated Disc?
While we try to avoid prescribing meds, we also know that taking over-the-counter meds at first can help put you in a clearer state to take care of yourself.
- Start with ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others) if possible to reduce the swelling
- Use alternating heat and cold for 10-15 minutes to help relax the muscles, improve the blood flow and reduce the swelling
- After applying heat and ice, use Icey Hot or Tiger Balm on the skin surrounding the irritated area to help relieve the muscle tension
- Don’t make the mistake of resting too much or pushing yourself too hard—avoiding movement entirely will only lead to stiffness and further weakened muscles
- Avoid twisting or straining the injured area of your back in an attempt to relieve the pain
To prepare for your appointment, make sure you think back to when you first started experiencing symptoms and what may have caused the problem in the first place. Consider if there are any positions, activities or situations that seem to improve the pain. Your chiropractor will want to know if you are taking any medications or supplements.
Your chiropractor in Kenosha will likely provide treatments, like massage therapy, decompression or spinal manipulation, to help ease the pain and realign your body. Your chiropractor may also use supplemental diet and exercise plans to help encourage the healing and strengthening process. If you need help with lower back pain, call Jeranek Family Chiropractic today at +1 (262)694-7833!