Chiropractor Questions Back Injuries

What is the treatment for a herniated disc?

I herniated a disc in my back and its been extremely painful. How can this be treated?

16 Answers

Have your back examined to see if you have restricted motion, weakness or reflex changes. If you do then I would do a trial treatment of a technique called Cox Flexion-Distraction. There is no popping and is very gentle. You can look it up on the web.
Herniation's of the lumbar spine is extremely painful and can unfortunately scare people to seek surgical options sooner then they should. However, when you start having neurological deficits such as inability to control bladder, bowel, muscle movements, or can not feel anything with parts of your legs THEN you skip to the front of the line for surgical intervention as this can lead to permanent damage. Pain is the ultimate motivator for many patients however it is not a reason to jump right to surgery first. The hierarchy of treatment should always start conservatively with either chiropractic or physical therapy, and in those treatments the provider should be looking for the palliative movements (meaning pain free motions you can perform). Treatments can be either strengthening and stretching in nature at first, however, I find that starting with palliative treatments with Ultrasound, Traction, Electrical Stimulation, Flexion Distraction Traction or Decompression Traction, and Spinal Adjustments are highly effective for treating ~80% of the cases. There a very powerful muscle groups that attach directly to your spine and the chance of them going into spasm causing additional stress on the herniated disc is always where painful flare ups can occur. Pain management can be addressed with your Primary Care Provider. The root cause of the pain is the disc it's self so I find doing medications to help you through treatment such as muscle relaxers or noninflammatory medications does help, however, should not be the only treatment option. Next level of treatment would be to Pain Management Specialist for a series of injections, word of caution with this is if a provider is doing injections into your spine make sure they are either doing it Ultrasound or Xray Guided. If they pull out a needle and say we are going to put this in your back and they feel they can just palpate be concerned. At this point guessing is not what you want to see a provider doing. If no progress is seen after pain management then surgical intervention should start becoming a more likely option for treatment. The surgical risk are real and need to be laid out to you, I find the best surgeons know the statistics of their hospitals infection rate off the top of their head as this is the most common issue with surgeries. And depending on your health history added risk can be something that may make surgical options not favorable either.


Dr Barry
There are many treatment options. I recommend chiropractic first, especially Cox Technique and the McKenzie Method. These are specific to disc injuries and should provide you with fast relief and full recovery. If these do not help after 3 months of regular care, consult a surgeon.
Spinal decompression
Spinal decompression traction is a great treatment for disc herniations.
A herniated disc can be treated in multiple treatment plans. Chiropractic care, pain management, and surgery are effective as well as physical therapy.
Depends on how the disc is damaged
I know that herniated discs can be extremely painful, but the good news is only a very small percentage of them require surgery. Most can be treated conservatively with chiropractic and physical therapy care. Some modalities that may be employed to reduce the inflammation and relieve pressure on the nerve include traction, decompression, spinal manipulation, cold laser, dry needling and physical therapy modalities (massage, stretching, muscle activation).
There are many options. Chiropractic care, traction, flextion-distraction, physical therapy, invasive procedures like epidural or cortisone shots. It all depends on how bad the herniation, how many mm it is herniated, and the exact location. Many variables involved, but there are a few ways to help.

Hope I helped. Got your back!

Dr. Todd Gewant
At HEALWORKS we treat herniated discs by restoring the muscle support necessary to maintaining the integrity of the disc. This achieved by reflexes that restore the muscle to function, targeted nutrition to strengthen weak muscles and reduce inflammation. The disc herniation is reversed with classic Chiropractic techniques that painlessly traction the vertebral segments involved, gradually shifting the herniated disc back into its proper position.
The treatment varies from chiropractic to orthopedic. Decomposition/traction, flexion distraction, chiropractic adjustments and rehabilitation exercise, etc. I am only looking into chiropractic.
Chiropractors have very good techniques and procedures to help heal a herniated disc. You should call your local chiropractor and ask them if they have experience with disc problems.

Dr. Steven I. Brown
Chiropractors treat herniated discs with traction of the lower back in conjunction with spinal manipulation. We have had good results also using spinal decompression.
Hello and thanks for the question.

Before recommending a treatment plan for a herniated disc it would be best to have an examination done. This would allow the provider to make an accurate diagnosis, review any radiographic images, plus find out the cause of your symptoms. I would recommend making an appointment with a chiropractor to have this done before a treatment plan be discussed. Once an exam is completed, there can be many ways a chiropractor can treat your injury to provide relief.  

Yours in health,

Christopher Sitarski, DC
Depending on the severity of the herniation start with: chiropractic (flexion distraction/decompression), medical massage, and therapeutic class IV laser.
That all depends. Every patient is different. Herniated discs can be treated by MD’s with drugs or surgery. As chiropractors we like to try a natural approach first. There are gentle treatments for patients in a lot of pain. The stronger treatments called spinal adjustments are if you are only in moderate pain. There are also lumbar decompression machines to help with herniated discs. I prefer the DRX 9000 that I have in my office. Chiropractors offer the safest techniques to treat the cause of patient’s spinal problems, including herniated discs.

Dr. Jim