Herniated discs (also called bulging or slipped discs) are vertebrae discs that get pushed out from between vertebrae and impinge on sensitive nerve endings extending throughout the spine. Spinal discs are gelatinous cushions composed of fibrous soft tissues designed to protect bony vertebrae from rubbing and scraping against each other. In other words, if you didn't have spinal discs, your spine would be nearly inflexible, preventing you from bending, twisting or even walking without experiencing severe pain.
The most common causes of a herniated disc is aging, injury or disease. Aging dehydrates and thins vertebrae discs, allowing vertebrae to move closer to each other. Increased friction can push discs out of their correct position or cause them to bulge outward. Both conditions results in nerve compression and back pain. Traumatic injuries to the spine and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus compromises the structure and strength of discs, often leading to herniation or bulging of spinal discs.
Chiropractic Care for Herniated Discs
Geaux Chiropractic offers effective treatments for herniated disc pain without using medications or surgery. One of the best chiropractic techniques we use is the adjustment or "spinal" adjustment. By manually moving your spine gently and painlessly in certain directions, your chiropractor eases misplaced discs back into their normal positions. Eliminating nerve compression, restoring spine flexibility and diminishing pain are just a few of the general health benefits provided by a spinal adjustment.
Therapeutic Exercises for People with Herniated Discs
Your chiropractor may also recommend performing one or more of the following herniated disc exercises at home to strengthen your back, improve blood flow to spinal discs and facilitate healing of damaged discs.
Prone Trunk Raises and Upper-Ab Curl Ups
To begin an upper ab curl, lie down on an exercise mat and bend your knees. Make sure your back is flat against the mat then raise your head and shoulders until shoulder blades are no longer touching the floor. Hold for about ten seconds then relax. For the prone trunk raise exercise, lie on the mat, face down. Tighten gluteal muscles while lifting the shoulders and head as high as possible without experiencing any pain in your back. Again, hold this position for ten seconds before relaxing. Repeat each exercise ten times to strengthen a herniated disc.
Lumbar Stabilization Exercises
Lie on your back on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat. Allow your spine position to assume a neutral arrangement and try to keep it that way while extending one leg and elevating the heel towards the ceiling. Support your thighs by placing one hand behind each thigh. Maintain this position for ten to 30 seconds before repeating the exercise using the other leg. Another herniated disc exercise is the leg/arm raise. Begin by lying on either side of your body. Place one arm under your head and rest the other hand on the floor in front of your chest. Bend both of your knees and flex your hips. Now raise your top leg about eight to ten inches before lowering it. Repeat five to ten times and change sides.
Stability Ball Bridges
Also known as exercise balls, stability balls provide ways in which someone suffering from a herniated disc can heal and strengthen the back. Begin this exercise by lying on the ground, extending your legs and putting your feet on top of the ball. Use your arms as support by placing them next to you on the ground. Now, elevate your hips two inches from the ground but at the same time, don't let the ball roll away from you. Accomplish this by contracting the gluteal and abdominal muscles. By attempting to stabilize the ball, the spine receives subtle but effective enhancement as a result of utilizing hip and butt muscles.
Single or Double Knee to Chest Exercise
This exercise for herniated disc rehabilitation can be done using one knee or both knees. While lying on your back, place hands behind a thigh and pull it towards your chest. If using both knees, place one hand behind each thigh and perform the same upward pulling. However, if you are using just one leg, keep the other leg flat. Hold positions for 30 seconds before switching legs or resting, and then repeat. You should not experience any pain from doing any of the exercises. If you do, stop immediately and consult with your chiropractor before continuing with the exercises.
Call Geaux Chiro Today to Schedule an Appointment for Herniated Disc Treatment
Taking pain medications does nothing to treat the underlying cause of your herniated disc pain. Unless moved back into place with adjustments, vertebrae discs will continue deteriorating and causing pain. Contact us today at Geaux Chiro to learn more about our chiropractic services.