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Chiropractor Adelaide - Walkerville Chiropractic

Can chiropractic provide relief for disc injuries?

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Lower back pain is a very common reason why patients would seek help from a chiropractor in Adelaide. Part of the chiropractor’s job is to first discuss the problem with the patient and determine what the cause of the problem is. It is very important to come away knowing that pain is not the problem, and discovering what is going wrong on a structural, or functional tissue level is the whole point.

 

One of the structures in the lower back that is thought to be responsible for approximately 40% of lower back pain cases is the intervertebral disc (often just referred to as the disc). There are a series of physical tests and examination procedures that will lead the chiropractor to suspect whether your back pain is being caused by a problem with your disc, or whether something else is the reason. In medical diagnostics, the gold standard for the diagnosis of a disc herniation is an MRI study, and your chiropractor may wish to see spinal MRI’s depending on the severity of the disc herniation, and therefore decide whether chiropractic care may help you, or whether it would be more appropriate for you to undergo a different form of treatment instead.

 

To understand why chiropractic care might be useful, it is helpful to understand the mechanism by which a disc may be damaged in the first place. When the brain is not receiving accurate data / information about the joints of the spine and how they are moving, the muscles that hold the joints together may work inaccurately and allow movements of the disc that are excessive (this can be referred to as “hypermobility”). This extra load on the discs can weaken them over time, and result in disc injuries.

 

Chiropractic adjustments delivered correctly have been shown to improve the “position sense” between spinal joints and the brain. This in turn improves the accuracy of the muscles which hold and move the joints, which can support the injured region and over time allow the body’s normal healing mechanisms to work more effectively and completely. In this way, your disc injury may improve or resolve.

 

Bear in mind that the term “disc injury” or “disc herniation” covers a huge number of variations, ranging from mild to very severe. In very severe cases (particularly those involving loss of bowel or bladder control, or certain types of sensory loss) you might actually need surgery or other interventions to correct his. If the thought of having surgery is something you really don’t want, then seeing a chiropractor and discussing whether their treatment approach may be able to help you avoid risky surgery and still achieve a good outcome for you is a good idea. The chiropractor will take into account all of your examination findings before recommending a trial of care.

 

 

1. Kulig K, Powers CM, Landel RF, Chen H, Fredericson M, Guillet M, Butts K. Segmental lumbar mobility in individuals with low back pain: in vivo assessment during manual and self-imposed motion using dynamic MRI. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2007 (8). http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2474/8/8
2. Lotz JC, Ulrich JA. Innervation, inflammation, and hypermobility may characterize pathologic disc degeneration: review of animal model data. Journal of bone and joint surgery American volume. 2006; 88.Suppl 2: pp. 76-82
3. Pickar JG, Kang YM. Paraspinal muscle spindle responses to the duration of a spinal manipulation under force control. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005; 29:22-31.
4. Pickar JG, Wheeler JD. Response of muscle proprioceptors to spinal manipulative-like loads in the anesthetized cat. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2001; 24:2-11.
5. Hair LC, Raney NH, Gill NW, Teyhen DS. Quantification of Lumbar Multifidus Muscle Thickness Pre and Post Spinal Manipulation - An Ultrasound Imaging Cohort. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy. 2009; 17 (3) pp. 1-2
 

 

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