Herniated Disc Specialist
When any of the soft, rubbery cushions that separate the bony vertebrae in your spine rupture, you suffer a herniated disc. Herniated discs in your lower back can lead to numbness or tingling in your legs and buttocks while herniated discs in your neck can radiate pain down your arms and shoulders. Austin Chiropractic Associates offers non-invasive relief for disc herniations so you can regain full function and be free from pain. If you live in or around Austin, Texas, make an appointment with Dr. Simon Forster and Dr. Brian N. Forrest to diagnose and treat your herniated disc.
What is a herniated disc?
A thick, jelly-filled cushion called a spinal disc sits between the bones of the spine. These discs have a tough exterior and a soft interior that act as shock absorbers. When the disc’s exterior tears and some of the softer material pushes through the opening, that soft material can irritate nearby nerves.
Herniated discs can cause:
- Weakness or pain: Often in one or more arms or legs
What causes a herniated disc?
Often, someone with a herniated disc can’t pinpoint a particular time they hurt themselves. As a person ages, they lose some of the water content in their spinal discs, which can cause them to rupture or tear with very little strain.
People with physically demanding jobs tend to experience herniated discs more often as do people who are obese or genetically pre-disposed to disc problems. Because the lower spine bears the most weight, most herniated discs happen there. However, a herniated disc can occur at any point in the back.
How is a herniated disc treated?
Many herniated discs heal themselves in a few weeks. Physicians may prescribe pain medications and targeted exercises while recommending that you avoid painful positions and heavy lifting. The use of pain medications like cortisone injections, prescription narcotics, muscle relaxers, or over-the-counter treatments can result in significant side effects and possible addiction.
If the pain doesn’t resolve in a few weeks, a physician prescribes physical therapy. Finally, if medication and physical therapy don’t work, the physician consults with a surgeon, who can remove the protruding portion of the disc.
Chiropractic treatment, on the other hand, begins to alleviate the pressure placed on the spinal disc from the very first treatment. Using the McKenzie Method, or protocol, Dr. Forster, or Dr. Forrest will apply a set of movements/exercises to gauge the patient’s pain response in each position. With that information they can design treatment and exercises that will return your spine to its proper position, allowing the herniated disc to expand and heal appropriately.
Many patients find relief from numbness and tingling within the first few weeks of chiropractic treatment.