Lumbar disc herniation and Sciatica

The symptoms of disc herniation are extremely painful. Every week the clinic receives many enquiries about this condition. Many people are referred to us by their General Practitioner, or neurosurgeon. Indeed, many doctors working in demanding roles, seek us out for treatment both for themselves and their families.

Can chiropractic help?

Yes. About 60% or more of our patients come suffering from disc symptoms and we have an excellent success rate. The great majority of our patients get better without the need for surgery.

What is a lumbar disc herniation?

The twenty four vertebrae of the spinal column are separated by discs. These discs have a fibrous coat on the outside and a gel-like interior. Their function is to absorb shock during movement, but they are subject to injury, and ‘wear and tear’. Repetitive or strenuous work can increase the likelihood of damaging the discs. When the external coat is damaged, the gelatinous inside pushes out. This bulge forms the hernia, which then often irritates the nerves serving the legs.

The hernias can cause pain when the spinal canal is narrow or when the hernia itself is very large. This is because it can touch one of the spinal nerves, on its way to the leg or buttock muscles. When the pain is felt in the back of the leg, this is a classic symptom called sciatica. Coughing, sneezing and evacuating the bowel can increase the pain.

Watch this brief answer from one of our Chiropractic practitioners – Pamela Leader

Will I need surgery?

Most back care specialists, including orthopaedic specialists and neurosurgeons, agree that a course of conservative treatment is advisable, before considering back surgery.

Only a very small percentage of patients need to resort to surgery. As chiropractors, we have the training and experience to understand your signs and symptoms. This includes knowing  which history, signs and symptoms would require a surgical referral.

How many treatments will I need?

The exact course of chiropractic treatment is carefully designed for each patient, according to the results of the physical examination and the findings from the patient’s case history.

We do not always do the classical chiropractic manipulations on all patients, as we have different techniques according to the patients age, condition and general state of health.

Will it hurt?

Adjustments do not usually hurt, although some patients report slight pain lasting a few seconds during the adjustment. This is usually at the start of treatment when the patient is tense and already in pain.

Some irritation may be felt after the first couple of treatments, but this is just the body adjusting to the treatment given and normally lasts no longer than 24-48 hours. Many patients experience no ill effects at all and report only relief from their symptoms.

Watch this full video from one of our Chiropractic practitioners – Gerry Nastasia

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