Chiropractic care is often sought after by people suffering from back pain. This is because spinal manipulation is such an effective yet side-effect-free way to relieve pain. But did you know that people are often diagnosed with herniated disc and that the back pain, leg pain, excessive weakness in the legs, and abnormal functions of the lower extremities that they’re experiencing were just symptoms?
This is the reason why it’s important to get a thorough examination and treatment instead of just opting for a quick pain relief. This way the root cause of the problem is the one being addressed not just the symptoms.
Herniated disc happens when there are subluxations. When one or more bones of the spine move out of their proper alignment, it puts pressure on the spinal nerves which is why you feel pain. This then could lead to herniated disc where the outer ring of the intervertebral disc can dry and tear which allows the soft portion of the disc to bulge out.
Here are the signs that could mean the pain you’re feeling is due to herniated disc:
· Pain spreading over the buttocks, down the back of one thigh, and into the calf
· Pain may be in one leg (more common) or both legs
· Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs or feet
· Numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both arms
· In severe cases, inability to find comfort even lying down
· Sudden aching or twisted neck that cannot be straightened without severe pain
· Bowel or bladder changes and/or numbness in the groin
If you’ve experienced one or more of those symptoms, it’s time to seek professional help. Putting off treatment will just prolong the pain and make your condition worse. So it would be best to seek early diagnosis and treatment. A combination of these treatments may be recommended to you:
Physical therapy, exercise and gentle stretching to help relieve pressure on the nerve root
· Ice and heat therapy for pain relief
· Manipulation (such as chiropractic manipulation)
· Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen or COX-2 inhibitors for pain relief
· Narcotic pain medications for pain relief
· Oral steroids to decrease inflammation for pain relief
· Epidural injections to decrease inflammation for pain relief
Although surgery is also an option, it would be wise to seek chiropractic care first. Not only that chiropractors specialize in musculoskeletal issues like this, spinal adjustments are designed to correct subluxation in your spine which goes straight to where your condition has begun. Moreover, this alternative treatment is a non-invasive and drug-free approach which your body may respond best to but it also helps your body achieve overall wellness without much risk that surgery may have.
If you want to go for more natural but effective treatments, here are the options that you can choose from:
1. See A Chiropractor For Spinal Adjustments
There are different causes of bulging disc as well as different types; in order to treat yours accordingly, it’s necessary to get an accurate diagnosis first. In that case, chiropractors can provide you that since they specialize in musculoskeletal issues like bulging disc and back pain. Spinal adjustment will be most probably recommended as a treatment because it puts your spine back into alignment, relieves pain, and allow your body’s innate ability to heal itself.
2. Visit A Physical Therapist
When you’re suffering from bulging disc and back pain, you movement becomes restricted. Physical therapy will help improve your range of motion, strength and flexibility. Therapists often use specific exercises and stretches with intensity depending on the patient’s particular condition.
3. Stay Active
Being in pain and having a condition that makes you feel pain every time you move is frustrating. However, it’s crucial that you maintain at least light to moderate daily physical activity even in such condition. This is because; not doing so will only further deteriorate your condition. Staying active actually helps maintain flexibility, strengthen and protect your back, and keep you on your feet more often.
4. Get Enough Sleep And Rest
Sleep and rest allow our body to recover from all the work your muscles, bones, and joints have been put through during the day. So, overworking means taking that opportunity away from your body, this will only result to inflamed, weakened disc and progressing pain.
5. Work On Correcting Your Posture
It would have been great if you spend majority of your day on your feet and moving. But we all know that in today’s lifestyle sitting for extended period of time is the norm. This is the reason why it’s even more crucial to pay attention to your spine more than ever. By making sure you maintain proper posture while you sit, take breaks from every hour of sitting, stretch, and even arrange ergonomic workplace you avoid being in pain all the time.
6. Eat An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Aside from what you do outside your body, what you put inside your body can either make you feel better or worse. So take you diet seriously. Include more anti-inflammatory foods like leafy greens, healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil, clean and lean proteins, and fermented foods that contain probiotics.
7. Reduce Pain Using Essential Oils, Massage Therapy, Heat And Acupuncture
Essential Oils—peppermint or lavender oil are known to help you relax, so adding any of these into your hot bath can help penetrate and relax the inflamed area.
Massage Therapy—this helps relax muscles, loosen up tight tissue, increase blood flow and even increase the production of painkilling, calming chemicals, such as endorphins.
Heat—while applying heating pack on painful area can soothe back tightness and inflammation, you should not do this within the first 72 hours that you had the injury. Otherwise it can just make it worse, you should ice the swollen area during that time and then you follow it up with heating packs.
Acupuncture—this traditional Chinese medicine is known to help unleash the body’s natural flow of energy. In 13 randomized controlled trials with 2,678 patients with chronic back pain, it has been found that acupuncture helped decrease pain intensity and level of disability while improving spinal flexion and quality of life compared to not receiving treatments.