Bottom Line: Spinal discs play an essential role in your low back, acting as small shock absorbers and giving you the ability to move in many different directions. Your discs are comprised of two major parts: an outer ring of cartilage which provides support and a jelly-like center that facilities motion. As age and injuries catch up with us, the disc can herniate. A herniated disc is when the middle (the jelly) of the disc breaks through the outer wall irritating a spinal nerve and causing severe pain in your back or leg. Researchers have found this most often occurs between the ages of 35-50.
Why it Matters: Almost everyone knows someone who has suffered from pain caused by a herniated, slipped, or bulging disc. The pain can be so intense that many people think surgery is the only way to correct it. Well, we have good news. Research has shown people who choose chiropractic adjustments had the same amount of relief as those who chose surgery! And what about those medications that mask the pain but fail to correct the problem? Well, research has shown chiropractic adjustments to be significantly better than many of the common drugs prescribed for back pain. Here are some take away points:
Top-research journal, SPINE, has recommended the use of Chiropractic adjustments for back pain
Chiropractic adjustments were shown to provide significantly more relief than medications
Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to be just as effective as surgery for taking care of herniated discs
Next Steps: Your spinal discs stay healthy by having strong muscular support and a full range of motion. Keep your spine stabilizing muscles healthy by committing to daily exercise. And what about maintaining a full range of motion? Chiropractic adjustments gently and effectively help to restore proper range of motion in your neck, mid-back, and low back. When your spine is moving well with appropriate support, you are going to be feeling great!
Spinal High-Velocity Low Amplitude Manipulation in Acute Nonspecific Low Back Pain. SPINE. 2013
Manipulation or Microdiskectomy for Sciatica? A Prospective Randomized Clinical Study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2010