When patients speak to me about disc herniations, it’s because they feel chiropractic is the best treatment. They want to avoid surgery or epidural injections. Treating disc herniations and bulges with physical therapy is something they don’t immediately realize is also a good option. A disc herniation is when the center of the disc, or the nucleus polposus, (the soft “jelly”) pushes out through a tear in the tougher exterior (annulous fibrosis). This causes pressure against the nerve, causing unbearable pain. It is very debilitating to the patient, preventing them from doing daily activities or work. Physical therapy treatment includes, deep tissue massage, modalities like electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound or cold laser. It will also include hot and cold compresses and exercise. The exercise usually starts after the “passive” treatment noted above ends and the patient starts to feel better. The exercise for a disc herniation is designed to strengthen the muscles around the affected area to strengthen it. Manual manipulation is a great therapy for disc herniations. This uses a great deal of pressure to relieve deep muscle tension and spasms, which develop to prevent muscle motion at the affected area or to stabilize it. One treatment that not many physical therapists use (but ours does) is spinal decompression. To understand this, you must understand a little more about discs. They are water based. They are also avascular. This means no blood is supplied to them. They can’t heal, so as you lose disc height, you don’t regain it. Nothing helps this, except spinal decompression. The machine works but slowly pulling your spine into a “negative” gravity state. Unlike traction, there is no muscle guarding so the pull is purely spinal. T
his causes surrounding fluids to be vacuumed, or “sucked” into the disc to re hydrate it. It also pulls the disc away from the nerve, not to recenter it, but to take the pressure off. The result is becoming pain free! Dr. Xin, our physical therapist combines all these treatments. As a result she has one of the best disc hernation treatments around! If you feel you can benefit from this, then call Breakthrough Wellness Center today to have a consultation with Dr. Xin. You’ll be glad you did. 732-303-1425.