A herniated disc occurs when the jelly-like center of the intervertebral discs protrudes from the outer layer of the disc, leaks through it or is deformed in some way. This can occur in the neck, called a cervical disc herniation, or the somewhat more common herniated disc in the lower back, which causes symptoms such as lower back pain (lumbago) and sciatica.
Why does a hernia happen?
The human body, although complex and robust, is not immune to the wear and tear of everyday life, modern diets, growing old and any mix of our parents’ genes. These factors potentially lead to a lot of painful lesions caused by unusual adjustments to the jelly-like intervertebral discs that support our spine and provide flexibility. Also called herniated discs, the result of which can be long-lasting and painful.
Hernia: Causes and Symptoms
There are some factors that can lead to a hernia and it is a fact that most people cannot say what the exact cause of their hernia is. It is not uncommon for an ordinary coughing fit to be the ultimate cause of an underlying hernia suddenly becoming much more painful and serious. Some common factors that can lead to a hernia are:
- Age – Gradual ageing is in many cases a factor for a hernia. As you get older, the back disks contain less water, which makes it easier for fractures and cracks to appear during exercise. This is medically known as Degenerative Hernia.
- Weight and Lifestyle – Excess weight creates additional weight on the discs, especially in the lower back.
Genetics – Unfortunately, some people are genetically predisposed to have a spinal injury. A good diet and exercise are preventative techniques to prevent this.
- Occupation and Sports – Occupations and sports that are very physical pose an additional risk. This includes everything that involves lifting, twisting, pushing or bending.
Hernias irritate nearby nerves and cause pain, weakness or numbness in the back and legs. It is also not uncommon for a herniated disc to appear in X-ray scans or other imaging techniques without the patient experiencing any symptoms.
Chiropractic hernia treatment
Chiropractors are highly trained medical professionals who specialize in the treatment of hernias. They are trained to identify and treat back subluxations. Chiropractic adjustments can be made by means of high impact (yet gentle and natural) adaptation to the vertebrae with the aim of relieving herniated pain. Some other specialized techniques that can be used are:
- Flexion distraction technique for hernia –This technique uses a special table that stretches the spine, allowing the chiropractor to isolate the zone and loosen the spine. This painless technique allows the centre of the disc to return to its normal position between the vertebrae. This causes the misplaced disc to be pulled away from the nerve root that causes pain and inflammation. This process may also improve the height of the disc, which forms the cushion between the vertebrae.
- Manipulation Under Anaesthesia (MUA)-In serious cases, MUA can be applied in a hospital or a care centre. A light anaesthetic is used to anaesthetize the patient for a short session. Your chiropractor will stretch and manipulate your spine while you relax.
- Pelvis Blocking Techniques for Hernia –This technique uses a pillow skewer which is placed under the pelvis. This simple procedure uses the body’s natural mechanisms to pull the disc away from the nerve and back to its central place between the vertebrae, away from the nerve root.
- Exercise and dietary advice –Your chiropractor will include lifestyle guidelines in your treatment that you can implement at home. This is part of the chiropractic belief of holistic body treatments.
Longer unnecessary suffering from the symptoms associated with a hernia, or undergoing risky interventions is not desirable! Non-invasive and natural hernia therapy should be the first option in the treatment of hernia-related symptoms. Since each case should be evaluated and approached individually, a consultation with a recognized and expert chiropractor in your area may be a long-term solution that you need and deserve.