Learn more about disc herniation treatment North Vancouver from the chiropractors at Mountain Health & Performance
If you have recently been diagnosed with a disc herniation or disc bulge you may be wondering what next! A quick Google search will lead you down a rabbit hole of a different treatment options from massage therapy to surgery. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication & even refer you to a spine specialist but often wait times are weeks to months long.
If you are diagnosed with a disc herniation or you think you may have one it’s important that you see a chiropractor to assess your spine, give you a second opinion and provide you with options for treatment. Chiropractors are trained for 8 years and are extremely skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of spine related conditions. Disc herniation’s and sciatica are one of the most common conditions that chiropractors treat. If you are struggling with pain from a disc injury continue reading our top 3 tips for healing from a disc herniation.
See a Chiropractor & get an initial diagnosis or second opinion:
This is the first step! Even if you already have a CT scan or MRI confirming a disc herniation it’s not enough. You need to have an in-depth history and examination performed in order to properly diagnose a disc herniation. There are very specific questions your chiropractor will ask in addition to special tests that will be conducted on your first visit that need to be completed in order to confirm a disc herniation.
The CT or MRI results will then be used in addition to the chiropractors exam results in order to make a diagnosis. This is a very important step because a disc herniation that shows up on a scan may or may not be related to your pain. Studies have shown that many people have disc herniations on MRI/CT but do not have pain. There are also many conditions that can mimic symptoms similar to disc herniation so it’s critical to rule out those conditions as well. We need to be careful only to use the scans help diagnose a disc herniation if there is also an examination that leads to the same diagnosis.
In many cases a chiropractor may diagnose a disc herniation and not recommend a scan because symptoms and exam results are clear. The scan is only needed if you have serious symptoms such as bowel or bladder dysfunction OR if your pain, numbness or weakness is rapidly worsening. In some cases chiropractors will refer patients back to their medical doctor in order to requisition a CT scan or MRI however many times patients are given a treatment plan without the need for a scan.
Understand your injury:
The chiropractors at Mountain Health & Performance take time with their patients to explain their injury and what it means. We believe that it’s important for people to understand what is happening in their bodies because it can help to decrease fear and pain. Getting a diagnosis of a disc herniation can be a scary thing. We want you to understand what it is so you can be confident in how we are going to help you moving forwards. We will be with you every step of the way helping your through the process and explaining what your symptoms mean and how to manage them.
If you would like to learn more about disc herniations please visit our conditions page disc herniations in order to learn everything you need to know!
Get the right treatment!
There is no cookie cutter approach to treating disc herniations. There is a lot of information online about the best treatments or exercises but every person is different. This is why it’s so important to have an assessment from a chiropractor. We will do specific tests to confirm that you have a disc herniation but we will also look at how your joints, muscles and fascia are functioning. The most important thing to do when healing from a disc herniation is to take pressure and stress off of the discs. The discs CAN heal on their own with time but this can process can take up to 1 year and there is a lot that you can do to decrease pain and speed up healing in the meantime.
During the initial stages of disc herniation treatment will be focused on controlling inflammation and on education. Laser therapy, ice, and gentle mobilization techniques may be utilized to decrease pain and control inflammation. Education on how to sit, stand, transition etc. is also very important during this stage to decrease irritation on the disc and nerves. When inflammation and pain have settled treatment will focus on restoring normal joint and soft-tissue mobility, along with rehabilitation to strengthen the core, back and hips. Treatments employed at Mountain Health and Performance include: spinal manipulation, mobilization, myofascial release (ART) and (FR) and traction. Spinal traction involves a specialized table, which stretches the spine and helps to decrease pressure on the disc and nerves, also known as spinal decompression therapy.