Bulging disks are quite common. If you’ve ever gotten into a car accident, had a child, or if you have poor posture – you’re probably at risk for a bulging disc (if you don’t already have one). Our spine is responsible for our quality of life. When we have severe back pain, it’s hard to work, socialize, or even go for a walk. Bulging discs mainly impact the lower back, which causes a tremendous amount of pain. Common things you’ll see with bulging/herniated discs include: muscle spasms, lower back pain, tingling throughout your upper body, and trouble sleeping.
Pain from herniated or bulging discs is often so extreme that people will start looking at pain management options like narcotics. That kind of pain can also lead to extensive and invasive surgeries. Narcotics may seem wonderful at the time, but they’re a band-aid with side-effects. Before you ask your doctor about these two options, you may want to try a chiropractor for a safe, non-invasive approach. Let’s take a look at what chiropractors do and how they can fix a bulging disc:
What to Expect
Your first time in a chiropractor’s office will be fairly simple. They’ll focus mainly on assessing your condition and diagnosing you. They might take some x-rays so they can get a good look at your spine. They’ll often examine your neck and your spine with their hands to see where your pain is coming from. They’ll also make sure your initial pain isn’t originating from somewhere else on your body.
Once they have a good idea of what’s going on, they’ll present your treatment options to you and they’ll work on formulating a plan to fix your bulging disc. The plan usually involves simple spinal manipulation. Your chiropractor will also work with you on your body as a whole – your diet, your exercise, and your overall well-being. Chiropractors strongly believe that nutrition plays a large role in your health. They’re deeply invested and educated in nutrition, and they’ll give you the best possible advice moving forward. They can also give you recommendations about proper sleeping positions and how much you should rest before getting back on your feet.
Your first visit won’t involve any pain. It’s just a preliminary meeting and consultation so they can figure out what’s going on. The chiropractor will set up a second appointment after you work together on a treatment plan. Some injuries involve multiple treatments, so find an office and a chiropractor you’re very comfortable with. Chiropractors are knowledgeable and known for their commitment to their patients. Your chiropractor should exhibit patience and understanding with you.
What Can a Chiropractor Do to Fix Your Bulging Disc?
Part of your original assessment involves a “pressure point analysis.” This is a way for the chiropractor to see where to start treating your pain. He/she will be looking for 3 things: whether or not your spinal reflexes are working correctly, whether or not you’re showing signs of atrophy, and whether or not you have a normal amount of feeling along your nerve pathways.
The next steps will include either spinal manipulation under anesthesia, pelvic blocking techniques, or a technique called flexion-distraction. Flexion-distraction is the one that is used the most. It’s a process in which the chiropractor works with his/her hands to pump your affected area, moving the troublesome disc away from the nerve. It sounds simple but it requires a great deal of precision, which is why you need a professional. It can eliminate or reduce your pain. You may have to go back for future adjustments with this technique, but it should start working within the first visit.
Pelvic blocking is a technique that involves placing soft wedges underneath your pelvis in order to realign parts of your spine.
Manipulation under anesthesia is not as scary as it sounds. The anesthesia used will only put you under for 5-10 minutes. The chiropractor uses this time while you’re asleep to stretch your spine and reduce your discomfort. This is another method that requires further treatment, and it will take between 6-8 weeks (only 3-4 sessions).
Physical therapy also comes highly recommended after these treatments because it helps you strengthen your problem areas. Your chiropractor will also recommend the types of exercise that he/she thinks you should do in order to prevent future problems. If you’re in a tremendous amount of pain and you can barely walk – it’s not a problem. Your chiropractor and his/her team will often help in lifting you up onto the table and taking small walks around the office with you.
You’re in Good Hands
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and worried about going to a chiropractor for extreme pain, please note: they are trained for this. You’re walking into an environment with educated professionals; people who handle this kind of pain all the time. Their only goal is to make you well. The people at Freedom Health Centers want nothing more than your healing and relief. They will do absolutely everything in their power to help you. This is a safe space – a place of healing and care.
At all costs, try to avoid drastic measures like pain medications. Narcotics cause side-effects. Some of these side-effects include, but are not limited to: addiction, nausea, vomiting, migraines, anxiety, and depression. You don’t need all of those problems on top of your pain. And what’s more – they’re not healthy. Chiropractors promote total-body wellness, and their job is to help you get healthy from the inside out. Remember that when you go to a chiropractor, their goal is to help your existing pain by using non-invasive techniques that should cause little-to-no pain at all.
The last thing to keep in mind is that chiropractors will refer you to specialists if they think it’s needed. If your pain is not manageable with their techniques, they’ll make sure you find someone that will get you what you need. It’s just always a great idea to start with a chiropractor because they’re non-invasive and better for your overall health. They will be there with you from the beginning of your treatments until the very end. They care, and they’re experienced.