The human body is an incredibly complex and capable entity, involving networks of nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and more. All elements have a remarkable ability to work together in order to perform a multitude of functions. Consideration is rarely given to the body’s many processes. They occur naturally, seamlessly. However, little of what the human body does would be possible without the backbone.
The very word implies strength and reliability. The backbone, or spine, is what holds us up and serves, quite literally, as the scaffolding of the human body. It is composed as a column of 24 individual bones known as vertebrae which are stacked on top of one another. They allow flexibility and maneuverability of the body, but without proper shock absorption, they would be unable to function properly and result in severe pain.
The discs between the vertebrae are flat, round spongy pads which allow the spine to move without causing pain or damage. However, injury may occur to these discs, causing them to bulge or break open. When this occurs, it is typically referred to as a bulging or herniated disc. This condition may be caused by normal wear and tear with age, excessive weight, or through some sort of trauma or sudden strain such as an auto accident.
The location of the injured disc may occur in the neck or upper back. However, herniated discs are most often found in the lower back, or lumbar area. When the injury occurs here, it will frequently lead to pain, numbness, and tingling in the buttocks, legs, and feet. Treatment often involves pain medication, physical therapy, shots, and in severe cases, even surgery.
Fortunately, chiropractic care has been shown to be a safe and effective method of relieving many of the symptoms associated with bulging or herniated discs, particularly in the lumbar area.
Spinal Decompression for Bulging Discs
Spinal decompression is among the most successful non-surgical treatments for lumbar disc injuries. While other methods of spinal manipulation or therapeutic exercises may be recommended, this treatment has been found to be particularly effective.
During the treatment, a special table is used to slowly pull and stretch the spine. This increases the space between vertebrae, allowing a reduction of pressure on the disc, which may gradually recover to its proper position. Additionally, a pumping action will allow diffusion of oxygen, water and nutrient-rich fluids from outside to inside the discs, promoting healing of damaged fibers.
The long-term effects of spinal decompression have shown to be beneficial. The treatment offers non-invasive relief to injuries which are highly resistant to many traditional therapies. In addition to allowing patients to avoid more aggressive treatment options, it offers the following benefits:
Relatively Painless – Spinal decompression is meant to be a comfortable procedure and is adjusted to meet the particular needs of a given patient. As the machine begins to pull, it will take place in small increments, allowing the patient to relax and resulting in a more effective treatment.
Relief of Symptoms – As discs are gradually able to shift back into place and heal through nutrient-rich fluids, patients will experience relief from many symptoms associated with bulging or herniated discs, most notably pain.
Mobility – As the treatment progresses and pain is alleviated, patients will find greater mobility, and an ability to enjoy activities that were once too painful.
If you suffer from pain, numbness, or tingling, in the lower back, buttocks, or legs, you may be suffering from a bulging or herniated lumbar disc. A qualified chiropractic physician can evaluate your symptoms to determine if this is truly the case. If so, an effective, non-invasive treatment option such as spinal decompression may be recommended.
To schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, or to ask questions about this therapy, please contact our office. We see the effects of low back pain every day and understand how debilitating it can be. Our ultimate goal is relieve your discomfort and allow you to live a pain-free life.