Chiropractor Questions Herniated Disk

What can I expect with a herniated disk?

My doctor believes that I have a herniated disk and referred me to a chiropractor in my area. How is this officially diagnosed? What should I expect the treatment to be like?

9 Answers

Diagnosis is based on how you injured it, symptoms, and special examinations performed. MRI is also a way to diagnose it. It will typically be a series of adjustments to help get the disc back to its normal position so it can heal. These injuries typically take 6 months to fully heal. You should feel better quickly, but the ligaments that hold the disc in place take longer.

A herniated disc is diagnosed with the help of a diagnostic test called an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), which will show any type of herniation inside your spine. It will also diagnose the severity of the herniation and if there is any other issues/ degeneration/spinal cord compression associated to it.
In order to "officially" diagnose a herniated disc, you would need to have advanced imaging. The most common imaging for this is MRI, however, not everyone is a candidate for an MRI and a CT Scan is an alternative as well. An MRI is a very strong magnet, so if there is any metal in someone's body this can't be performed. On the contrary, the CT Scan has radiation associated with it so if at all possible the MRI is probably considered the gold standard. As far as treatment for a herniated disc, my recommendation would always be to start conservatively and only work to more aggressive or more invasive options after conservative therapies fail to work. For example, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Acupuncture and Massage are great conservative options to help with muscle spasm, inflammation and mobility issues that are often common issues with herniated discs. I personally perform traction and/or decompression therapy to the right candidates in order to relieve pressure on the spine. If conservative therapies fail, there are still options in order to prevent invasive spine surgery. You can consult with an MD to determine if drugs are an option or even a Pain Management Physician that can perform epidural injections. These are just a few options, please consult with your chiropractor to find out more.
Diagnosis is usually by MRI or CT. Treatment by a chiropractor can vary based on the chiropractor's experience and training.
Official diagnosis can be a combination of physical exam findings and MRI results. Any form of neurologic deficit is a likely indicator. MRI is sometimes misleading because 80% of the population has asymptomatic disc herniations. Treatment will depend on the provider and what he finds. Probably best to look him up to get a better idea of what to expect from him.
An official diagnosis of a herniated disc is only confirmed with an MRI. Usual Chiropractic care can include spinal adjustments, pelvis adjustments, stretches and other home care recommendations.
You can sometimes tell from a simple exam, most times I like to see an MRI of the region. Chiropractic care is the modern first steps to managing these injuries. You may get manual manipulation, Flexion/Distraction, clinical nutrition, The treatment may, in part, depend on what approaches the DC uses. It will not be done in one session. Give it several weeks of care as there may be chemistry your body is making that is very inflammatory, and that has to subside.
A herniated disk is seen and diagnosed from MRI's.
MRI is the reliable method for detecting it. Treatments totally depend on the degree of herniation and the symptoms.