Herniated Disc Treatment in St. Francis, MN
Herniated disc treatment in St. Francis, MN. Herniated discs can be painful, but there is hope. Chiropractic care is effective at easing pain and restoring mobility, and doesn't involve the potential invasive procedures or medications of other treatment methods. At Total Spine Health & Injury Center, we work alongside the people we treat to not only safe help your pain go away, but offer corrective care aimed at getting them back to optimal mobility and health. If you're experiencing pain and limited motion in the St. Francis, MN area, Speak to a member of the Total Spine team today at (763) 568-7869 or contact us online for meaningful and lasting herniated disc treatment.
The Anatomy of a Herniated Disc
The spinal cord, which sends messages between the brain and the rest of your body, is protected by the vertebrae as it moves upward the spinal column. Nerve roots connect to the spinal cord through openings on the side of the vertebrae. The discs in our spine are tough, flexible cushions between each vertebrae. They are made up of a gel-like substance (nucleus pulposus) that asks as a shock absorber, and have a strong outer layer (annulus fibrosus) that protects the disc and connects the vertebrae. When healthy, these discs allow us to bend, twist, and move, and create space so the nerves and spinal column are not disrupted.
A herniated disc is a spinal injury that occurs when the annulus fibrosus tears and the inner disc leaks out. When the leaked material puts pressure on a nerve, it causes symptoms in the body part that that specific nerve is related to.
There are 23 discs in the spine, and it's possible to suffer and injury to any of them. However, most herniated discs are in the lumbar region or neck.
Herniated Disc Symptoms
Symptoms vary based on the severity and location of your injury, with some people having little to no pain. If the herniation is not interfering with a nerve, you may not feel any pain at all. People with herniated discs may experience:
- Pain — As the herniated disc presses against a nerve, that nerve can send pain signals to the brain. The pain is almost always only on one side of the body. While you may feel some pain in the location of the slipped disc, most most of the time symptoms will radiate to other parts of your body. A herniated disc in your lower back can cause pain in your lower back, through your buttocks, thigh, calf, and possibly feet (this is often referred to as sciatica). Herniated discs in the neck may cause symptoms in your upper extremities.
- Lack of sensation — Either alongside or in the absence of pain, you may also feel like a part of your body has slightly fallen asleep.
- Weakness and stiffness — The muscles controlled by the damaged nerves can weaken if symptoms progress without any treatment. Lack of exercise stemming from other symptoms can cause certain body parts to become stiff.
Symptoms can come and go, and may be more severe at a certain time of day, after staying in the same position for a long time, when performing certain movements, and when you laugh, sneeze, or cough.
Who Gets Herniated Discs?
The incidence of a herniated disc is about 5 to 20 cases per 1000 adults annually. happens to people in the third to fifth decade in life, and affects twice as many men as women. Someone may be more likely to experience a herniated disc with:
- Performing certain movements repeatedly
- Sitting in the same position for a long time
- Lifting heavy objects
- Not lifting with proper technique
- Not regularly exercising
How Are Herniated Discs Treated in St. Francis, MN?
Your herniated disc treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms and where the disc is located. Before seeking professional medical attention, you may try over-the-counter medications and varying heat and ice therapy to the affected disc. But, eventually, it's best to see a medical professional in St. Francis, MN. A medical doctor may advise a steroid injection, muscle relaxers, physical therapy, or, in the case of severe symptoms such as weakness or loss of normal bladder control, invasive procedures.
However, the evidence demonstrates that chiropractic can also ease pain and restore function after a herniated disc. Moreover, people who are treated by a chiropractor are less likely to need surgery, and people with back pain who did not get chiropractic treatment are almost twice as likely to to fill an opioid prescription.
How St. Francis, MN Chiropractors Can Help With Herniated Discs
Your chiropractic treatment for your herniated disc will be based on your specific situation. When you first see your St. Francis, MN chiropractor, your chiropractor may decide to perform imaging tests. They'll also perform a physical examination, including testing the reflexes and strength of the affected body part. Then, they'll come up with a personalized treatment plan aimed at getting you feeling even better than you did before your disc injury.
Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to treat herniated discs, including massage, traction, and adjustments. They will also often give advice on how to live healthier, such as exercises to strengthen the spine and improve flexibility.
When most people think of chiropractors, the think of chiropractic adjustments, or spinal alignments. With various techniques, your St. Francis, MN chiropractor perform give quick, targeted thrusts on your back or neck in order to safely realign your spine, reducing pain and improving function. There are a variety of chiropractic techniques they may use in your treatment:
The Diversified Technique
The diversified technique is the most common chiropractic technique in the world. This technique involves using quick thrusts over each joint, one at a time, to correctly align the spine and improve function. The diversified technique results in the "popping" sound most people think of when they think of chiropractors.
The Flexion-Distraction Technique
Also called the Cox method, this utilizes a specially designed table with independent pieces to facilitate gentle and rhythmic adjustments. Your chiropractor will leverage the movements of the table to stretch and decompress the spine, and reduce tension between your discs, nerves, vertebrae and joints. This technique rarely ever causes pain and many patients find they enjoy it.
The Pelvic Blocking Technique
Pelvic blocking involves putting cushioned wedges under each side of your pelvis. This helps move the bulging or herniated disc away from the nerve it's impinging on. Your St. Francis, MN chiropractor can teach you this effective pain-relieving strategy so you can do at home. During your appointment, they may also guide you through safe exercises during your session to get further benefit.
St. Francis, MN chiropractors offer holistic care that goes far beyond chiropractic adjustments. At Total Spine, strive to build relationships with all of our patients. Your custom herniated disc treatment plan in St. Francis, MN may also include:
- Massage therapy — In addition to a chiropractor, our team also includes a licensed massage therapist. When a disc impinges on a nerve, it limits the flexibility of related muscles. Massage therapy works to free that tightness. Massage is particularly effective if your symptoms include muscle spasms.
- Posture correction — Good posture can not only help prevent herniated discs, but can reduce the likelihood of symptoms reemerging in the future. Good posture prevents your spine from becoming misaligned and distributes weight evenly across your body. We can also teach you tips for correct posture while lifting and when performing other movements.
- Patient education — Our goal isn't just to give you pain relief in the moment. We show you things you can do on your own for longevity and quality of life, movement and mobility.
When you come to us for your herniated disc treatment in St. Francis, MN, your treatment plan will be personally tailored to you, and we will put you on the best path forward toward living your best life.
Visit Total Spine For Your Herniated Disc Treatment in St. Francis, MN
Most herniated discs can be healed effectively with professional chiropractic care in St. Francis, MN. With safe techniques based on research and modern practices, Total Spine will work with you to recover from your injuries. Speak to a member of our team today at (763) 568-7869 or make an appointment online for herniated disc treatment in St. Francis, MN today.