Is Chiropractic Care Safe for Herniated Discs?

Since its proper introduction into medical care, chiropractic care has grown in techniques and information. It shifted from being spirituality-centric to being scientific. Despite some experts still regarding it as an alternative medicine, many doctors see it as a proper treatment protocol.

What is a Herniated Disc?


A herniated disc has many similar and more popular synonyms like bulging, slipped, or ruptured disc. All these refer to the same thing—a spinal disc that is not in its place. Other than the first two vertebrae, the atlas and the axis or C1 and C2, all other vertebrae have spinal discs between them. 

Spinal discs provide cushion and reduce friction between the vertebrae in your spine. They allow you to jump up and down, move from side to side, and do other movements. They absorb the shock and most of the strain put on your spine to ensure it performs correctly. 

What is the Disc Made of?


The standard spinal disc comprises two main layers that work together to provide support. The first is the tough, rubbery outer layer called the annulus fibrosus. The second is the inner gel-like soft center called the nucleus pulposus. When a disc is herniated, the tough exterior cracks, causing the inner parts to push out.

The outer layer can crack due to extreme stress or strain from poor posture or too much weight. Usually, herniated discs can occur due to a combination of events or physical injuries. 

Is Chiropractic Care Safe for Herniated Discs?


During your first appointment, the chiropractor will first review your medical history. Then they will conduct a physical exam and other tests to determine the exact cause of the back pain. 

In their tests, they will look for specific symptoms like:

  • How are your reflexes? – These tests help establish whether your nerves are functioning okay.

  • Do you have a loss of strength in your muscles or signs of wasting muscles?

  • Do you have a loss of sensation along a nerve path?


Spine Evaluation


Before starting any spinal treatment, the chiropractor will first evaluate your entire spine. If you have back pain, they will examine your neck to ensure you do not have other hidden ails. They want to know how your entire spine functions. One event on a particular part of the spine can affect multiple parts. 

Chiropractic Treatment


A chiropractor will proceed with adjustments only if some criteria are met to ensure you are safe. For instance, they will not proceed with the treatment if you have a condition where you lose bowel or bladder control. They will refer you to a different medical professional. 

If you have extensive loss of reflexes, sensation, strength, or other neurological issues, they will most likely refer you to a spine surgeon. There are many situations where chiropractic care helped patients with herniated discs to avoid surgery. According to a study, after five weeks of chiropractic care, those meant for surgery had their symptoms resolved.

For more on whether chiropractic care is safe for herniated discs, visit Integral Chiropractic at our office in Foster City, California. Call (650) 212-1414​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ to book an appointment today.

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