Disc Disorders
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Treatment for Disc Disorders From Our Aurora Chiropractor

disc degeneration illustration

Neck painback paintingling or pain in the arms or legs -- these symptoms can seriously derail your basic comfort, ability to function, and overall quality of life. In many cases, these symptoms stem from a problem afflicting one or more of the cushioning discs positioned between your spinal vertebrae.

Disc disorders can play major roles in neurological dysfunction, chronic joint inflammation, and referred pain to various parts of the body. The good news is that you can usually find relief from these symptoms without turning to surgical procedures -- with the aid of our Aurora chiropractor at Total Wellness Center, Dr. Geersen.

What Is a "Slipped Disc?"

You've probably heard the term "slipped disc" before without really knowing what it meant. It's actually used interchangeably to describe a couple of primary disc disorders:

herniated disc illustration
  • Bulging disc - A vertebral disc is a touch, hollow structure made of cartilage and collagen. This structure, the annulus fibrosus, is filled with a gelatinous material called the nucleus pulposus. As your discs age, the nucleus pulposus loses some of its water content. This not makes it more rigid; it also causes it to shrink, flatten, and bulge outward. This process is often referred to as degenerative disc disease. The flattening of the disc reduces the space between vertebrae, which in turn strains the facet joints that connect adjacent vertebrae. The result may be chronic neck or back pain caused by joint inflammation and arthritis. A bulging disc can also push against spinal nerve roots, causing neurological symptoms.
  • Herniated disc - A herniation often occurs as the final stage of a bulging disc, but an acute injury can also bring it on spontaneously. When pressure on the disc causes the annulus fibrosus to weaken, the weakened area may balloon outward. The cartilage may then rupture, allowing some of the nucleus pulposus to escape. a herniated disc can be extremely painful, not only for the neurological compression it may create but also because the nerves of the damaged disc can be highly sensitive.

Disc disorders can cause debilitating back or neck pain -- and that might be just the beginning of your troubles. Pressure on the nerve roots of the cervical spine can cause communication "misfires" throughout an arm or hand, producing pain, weakness, tingling, or loss of sensation. This problem is called cervical radiculopathy. A similar problem may occur in a leg or foot if a lumbar disc herniation compresses sciatic nerve tissue, a common complaint known as sciatica.

Non-Surgical Bulging or Herniated Disc Treatment at Total Wellness Center

Here at Total Wellness center, we can use non-surgical methods to relieve nerve pressure and help your discs function more normally. Our chiropractor will first X-ray your spine and look for the classic signs of an acute misalignment or degenerative disc disease. We will also note the location and nature of your back, neck or extremity symptoms. Once we know exactly which discs are involved, we can prescribe an all-natural, multi-modal bulging or herniated disc treatment plan.

chiropractor adjusting a patients spine for disc disorder

Your individualized plan may include:

  • Chiropractic adjustment - Chiropractic adjustment can correct alignment and positional problems that place your discs under unnatural stress. Our use of the instrument-assisted Activator Technique lets us deliver gentle, accurate, low-force adjustments to any part of the spinal column.
  • Laser therapy - Laser therapy is a painless, safe technique for boosting blood flow to injured discs while also relieving chronic facet joint pain and inflammation.
  • Sports injury rehabilitation - If you're suffering a herniated disc as the result of a sports injury, our rehabilitation techniques can help you come back stronger than ever.
  • Acupuncture - Acupuncture can ease disc-related pain while also supporting more normal nerve function.

Tired of Extremity, Neck, or Back Pain? Call Our Chiropractor Today

Don't let a disc disorder plague you with nagging extremity, neck, or back pain. Call Total Wellness Center at (303) 381-2031 to set up a consultation and treatment plan with our Aurora chiropractor!

Focus: Herniated Disc Issues

Among the reasons why people visit their doctor, back pain is perhaps the most common. There are numerous reasons why someone may be suffering from back pain and one of the possible reasons is a herniated disc. Also called a bulging disc, this back problem can lead to severe pain that makes it hard for people to carry out their daily activities. For those suffering from back pain, there is some important information to keep in mind.

Chiropractor holding a model of a the human spine with a herniated disk

The Causes of a Herniated Disc

There are numerous reasons why someone might suffer a herniated disc; however, one of the most common causes is gradual wear and tear due to age. The discs are present in the back to provide a cushion for the vertebrae. As people age, the discs gradually start to lose some of their liquid content. After a certain point, the pressure on the discs becomes too much to bear and they herniate as a result.

A herniated disc can also happen following an acute injury. This is what happens when someone suffers this injury in a motor vehicle accident. The sudden stress of an accident can cause one of the discs in the back to herniate, leading to acute, severe back pain.

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

The symptoms of a herniated disc can take several forms; however, some symptoms are more common than others. For example, one of the most common locations where people will suffer a herniated disc is in the lumbar region. A herniated disc in this region will cause pains to shoot down the legs that might get worse when people change position. These pains can be quite debilitating and can make it hard for people to move. Anyone who is experiencing this type of pain needs to make sure that they seek medical care immediately.

chiropractor adjusting male patients lower back

Herniated Disc Treatment Options in Aurora

The proper treatment of a herniated disc always starts with obtaining an accurate diagnosis. For this reason, a herniated disc doctor may decide to perform imaging of the back to get a better look at the location and severity of the herniated disc. Once the herniation has been identified, the herniated disc treatment can begin. The most important step is to find a qualified herniated disc doctor in Aurora to decide the best course of treatment.

For some people, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove the disc and fuse the vertebrae together. In other cases, people may be told to rest their back for a few weeks and stick to an ibuprofen regimen. They might be told that the pain will heal gradually. Fortunately, there are also other options available that can treat a herniated disc effectively.

One method that is commonly overlooked before going into surgery is Chiropractic Care. Herniated disc treatment in Aurora is provided at Total Wellness Center.

Trust the Experienced Team at Total Wellness Center

While some people may elect to go with surgery as a treatment option for their herniated disc, there are alternatives that can help someone treat their herniated disc without requiring a trip to the operating room. That is the goal of the treatment team at Total Wellness Center. With a well-rounded treatment team that includes chiropractors and injury rehab specialists, we can help you treat your herniated disc symptoms as well as the cause of the back pain in the first place.

Our chiropractors are able to perform a series of spinal manipulations and adjustments that can relieve a lot of the pressure that is on the nerves, causing the symptoms. Then, our injury rehab team can also help individuals perform corrective exercises that can strengthen the back and improve someone's range of motion, preventing this injury from returning.

Our team at Total Wellness Center is experienced with sports medicine, sports injuries, women's health, and personal injury issues. We know that every patient is different and we work hard to place the needs of our patients ahead of our own. To this end, we have served the Aurora and Southeast Denver areas for more than 13 years. We have same-day appointments available and will provide a free patient consultation. We accept most major insurance carriers including Medicare and Medicaid. Please call us today at (303) 381-2031 to learn more about how we can help you!

What are Common Reasons People go to a Bulging Disc Doctor?

elderly man holding his lower back due to pain

One of the most common reasons why people go to a bulging disc doctor is back pain. Back pain can occur in numerous locations throughout the spine and might develop due to a number of options. Some of the most common causes of back pain include poor posture, whiplash, and something called a bulging disc. Many people might have heard about a bulging disc but might still be unsure of what exactly this is.

The spine has numerous discs throughout the vertebrae to provide a soft cushion. Sometimes, these discs start to bulge. As a result, they protrude into the spinal canal itself. This protrusion can interfere with the nerves as they flow through and exit the spinal canal. Therefore, people with the bulging disc can develop serious pain. It is important for everyone to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment options of a bulging disc.

What are the Causes of a Bulging Disc?

If someone has been diagnosed with a bulging disc, there are a number of common causes. Some of the most common reasons why someone might develop this issue with their discs include:

  • Auto Accident: A motor vehicle accident is one of the most common causes of a disc issue. In an auto accident, extreme forces act on the spine. This sudden force can cause the discs to bulge or herniate, leading to severe symptoms.
  • Lifting Accident: Someone who lifts with their back instead of their legs is also prone to developing a bulging disc. To avoid this injury, it is important for people to use the muscles in their legs instead of their back. This will protect the back from injury.
  • Gradual Wear and Tear: Finally, some people might develop gradual wear and tear of their discs over time. Eventually, the discs will start to bulge, leading to symptoms.

Regardless of the cause of the bulging disc, there are a few common symptoms that everyone should remember.

What are the Symptoms of a Bulging Disc?

If someone is suffering from a bulging disc, there are several symptoms that he or she might notice. These include:

elderly man speaking to his doctor about his back pain
  • Shooting PainsIn a bulging disc, the disc often presses on nerves as they leave the spine. This can result in shooting pains down the arms or legs, depending on the exact location of the bulging disc.
  • Weakness: Damage to these nerves can also lead to weakness. People might notice the weakness on one side of their body compared to the other. This weakness can make it hard to carry out their day to day activities.
  • Numbness or Tingling: Issues with sensory nerves can also create patches of numbness or tingling throughout the body. This sensation can make it hard for people to coordinate their movements.

Once these symptoms have been diagnosed, it is important to consider the various treatment options.

What are the Treatment Options for a Bulging Disc?

Once someone has been diagnosed with a bulging disc, there are a few treatment options that they might consider. These include:

Medical Therapy: One of the options that people might consider is medical therapy. Often, a doctor will load someone up with NSAIDs, such as Motrin, for a period of several weeks to see if their pain goes away. Unfortunately, Motrin can have side effects and can damage someone's kidneys.

Surgery: If medical therapy fails, they might also be told surgery is an option. In this procedure, the disc might be totally removed and the two vertebrae surrounding it may be fused. This surgery can be dangerous.

Fortunately, individuals can also come to the Total Wellness Center

Chiropractic Treatment as an Option for a Bulging Disc

Those who are looking for a comprehensive treatment option for a bulging disc should rely on a trained chiropractor. Some of the ways a chiropractor can help include:

chiropractor adjusting patients upper back

Spinal ManipulationA trained chiropractor is able to perform a manipulation of the spine. In this procedure, the chiropractor will adjust the vertebrae and relieve pressure on the nerves causing the symptoms.

Flexion-Distraction: A chiropractor can also perform a technique known as flexion-distraction. The chiropractor will flex the spine on a special table, allowing the chiropractor to isolate the affected area for treatment.

Corrective Exercises: Corrective exercises can also be done to strengthen the spine, treat the symptoms, and prevent reinjury. A chiropractor can work with patients and design a specialized program to fit their needs.

At Total Wellness Center, we have been serving the areas of Aurora and Southeast Denver for more than 13 years. Our chiropractors are trained to perform adjustments and manipulations that will relieve your symptoms by identifying the root cause of your problems. For all of your sports and injury needs, call us today at (303) 627-7995 for a same-day appointment and free consultation!

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