Research shows that 80% of patients who have an MRI that is positive for a disc herniation and present with low back pain that may travel down the leg see results with chiropractic care alone, meaning no medication, injections, or surgery. It also shows that patients who chose medical intervention for their herniated discs still had better results when they completed their chiropractic treatment plan versus ending care early. Treatment plans for lumbar disc herniation are typically longer than just sprains, “A nonsurgical approach to the management of patients with lumbar radiculopathy secondary to herniated disk: a prospective observational cohort study with follow-up.”
Symptoms of Herniated Discs
- Low back pain that may travel down the back of the leg causing sciatica
- Pain is usually worse while sitting, coughing, sneezing, or bearing down
Chiropractic care as treatment for disc herniation
- Day 1 take a history and do an exam. X-rays will only be ordered if certain red flags are observed. Treatment can start on the first day
- Chiropractic adjustments will promote proper motion of the spine and pelvic decreasing the pressure on the disc and optimizing
- Electrical stimulation is used to relax the low back and reduce pain
- Muscle work will relax any muscle that is responding to or creating improper motion
- Home exercises will be taught to support disc and spinal health
Best home exercises for disc herniation with pain down the leg
Cat-camel– Begin on hands and knees in a neutral position as if you are creating a table top. Take a deep breath in and on your exhale, let your belly drop toward the floor and create a U-shaped curve in your spine. The top of your head and your tailbone should both be reaching toward the ceiling, and you sternum and belly button should be reaching toward the floor. Then you simply reverse the curve by moving through the neutral position and reaching your head and tailbone towards the ground and your spine toward the ceiling, hollowing out your belly and squeezing your abdominal muscles.
Cobra- Promote extension in the low back by laying on your stomach, placing you hands next to your shoulders, and gently push your head and upper back off the ground making a small arch in your back.