How Chiropractors Can Help Slipped Discs

If you are experiencing back pain, numbness, or weakness, your doctor might diagnose you with a slipped disc. Between your vertebral segment, you have discs that provide stability and act as shock absorbers and pivot points for spinal flexibility. These discs are made of two components: a tough fibrous outer layer and a soft inner layer called the nucleus pulposus. If you have a slipped disc, the soft inner layer of the disc can bulge out the fibrous layer and place extra pressure on surrounding muscles and nerves. Read on to learn why this happens and how a chiropractor could help you resolve this problem.

What Causes This Problem?

Slipped discs can happen at any age, but they tend to occur as you get older since the discs can lose some of their protective water content. Using an improper form while lifting — bending over from the waist, lifting from your back instead of your legs, etc. — can cause slipped discs. If you have a physically demanding job, you can also have an increased risk of slipped discs since your work may strain your back. Lastly, overweight individuals are more likely to have slipped discs because additional weight can place pressure on the spine.

How Can a Chiropractor Help?

While every chiropractic practice is different, a professional may use pelvic blocks or flexion-distraction tables for slipped discs.

Pelvic Blocks

Pelvic and lumbar blocks are cushioned wedges that can be used in-office by your chiropractor, or your chiropractor can prescribe some for you to take home. The blocks sit comfortably under each side of the pelvis and enhance the natural curvature of the spine. The blocks tilt the pelvis and extend the lower back so that there is less pressure on slipped discs. If adjustments are too painful, a chiropractor can use pelvic blocks to help your muscles relax beforehand. Your chiropractor can also fit you with these blocks so that you can relax at home and avoid pain or spasms as the disc heals. Your chiropractor may ask you to use the blocks during ice/heat therapy or at-home stretches.

Flexion-Distraction Tables

Your chiropractor may have you lie on a flexion-distraction table, which bends in certain places to stretch or flex the spine. Instead of using a manual adjustment, the pumping rhythm of the table encourages the nucleus pulposus to return to its normal position. Flexion-distraction tables can help to relieve inflammation and nerve irritation. Along with the flexion-distraction methods, your chiropractor may also use TENS devices or ultrasound therapy during this time to improve blood circulation and relaxation.

Contact a chiropractor in your area for chiropractic back pain treatment.