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Herniated Disc FAQs answered by our Chiropractor in St. Joseph, MO

Herniated discs are common disc injuries which can lead to significant pain and dysfunction.  Dr. Mattox, our chiropractor in St. Joseph, MO, is happy to educate his patients at St. Joseph Chiropractic about this common condition.

Chiropractor talking to patient about herniated discs

What is a Herniated Disc? 

Discs are like jelly donuts that provide cushion between vertebrae.  The inner disc or “jelly” can become pushed to a side which can cause a protrusion to the outside casing.  This formation can result in a range of abnormalities such as bulge, herniation, and even a rupture. 

What causes a Herniated Disc? 

Abnormal movement and force in the spine is generally what causes a disc to herniate.  It's often the result of an acute incident (such as a slip, fall, or auto accident), or it could be due to cumulative repetitive damage over time that leads to its eventual injury—the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back".

Are there risk factors for a Herniated Disc? 

Advancing age is a common risk factor, since as we get older our discs become less elastic and pliable. Males from the ages of 30 to 55 are more likely to develop herniated discs, as well as people who have physically demanding occupations, people who sit excessively, and even people who smoke or are obese. 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Herniated Disc? 

Herniated discs do not always cause signs or symptoms, but when they do, common ones include: 

  • Numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in a limb innervated by a compressed nerve
  • Back or neck pain and tenderness
  • Muscle weakness and spasm

Is a Herniated Disc the same thing as a Slipped Disc or Bulging Disc? 

Discs don't actually "slip"; they usually either herniate or bulge (or thin and breakdown, in the case of degenerative disc disease).  Unlike a ruptured disc, a bulging/herniated disc doesn't rupture, but simply protrudes abnormally in the joint space (like squeezing a jelly donut, but not enough for the jelly to come out).

How is a Herniated Disc diagnosed? 

Herniated discs are typically diagnosed via a physical examination, history questionnaire, and sometimes diagnostic imaging such as MRI or X-ray.

How can Chiropractic Care treat a Herniated Disc? 

A chiropractor can help heal and prevent herniated discs using several types of treatment, including:

  • Spinal decompression
  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Pain-relieving and tissue healing modalities like cold laser therapy, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound
  • Corrective exercises
  • Posture and ergonomic correction 

Wondering if your symptoms are being caused by a Herniated Disc? Contact St. Joseph Chiropractic today!!

St. Joseph Chiropractic is your home for natural and non-invasive solutions to your herniated disc pain. To schedule an appointment with our St. Joseph chiropractor, contact us today by calling 816-279-0700.