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How Good Is A Chiropractor For Slipped Disc Treatment?

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A slipped disc is often considered to be natural as people age. It usually causes pain and reduces the movement of the person suffering. It is common among the population that engages in a lot of physical activity. Athletes are one such example.

The most common occurrence of a slipped disc is at the neck or lower back region. However, it can also occur on other parts of the spine and is quite common.

There are different treatment options available for this condition. One such option is chiropractic care. And in this blog, we are going to cover the different aspects of slipped discs and discuss in what ways a chiropractor can treat slipped discs.

What Is A Slipped Disc? How Is It Caused?


Discs are the essential parts of the body that act as cushions for the spine. It is impossible for the spine to function in the absence of discs.

A slipped disc which is also known as a herniated disc is one such condition where the spine is not able to function properly. And in this condition, there is no actual slipping of discs. Instead, the material that is inside the disc starts coming out when there is a crack in the exterior of the disc.

The material inside the disc consists of

  • Annulus fibrosus – The tough layer on the outside
  • Nucleus pulposus – It contains the soft center, which feels like a gelatin



As you age, the breakdown of discs starts naturally. And excessive weight or bad posture exerts even more stress and speeds up the breakdown. Some other causes of slipped discs include:

  • Repetition of movements can impact an area that is already vulnerable, putting stress on the spine, lower back, etc.
  • Lifting weight in the wrong manner can also lead to slipped disc.
  • Injuries may also cause high-impact trauma to the discs causing them to tear or bulge.
  • There are studies that indicate that certain genes are common in individuals with disc degeneration.


You can have a look at the image below to understand the different stages of disc herniation that take place.


Slipped Disc Symptoms

The common symptoms which help in identifying slipped discs include the following.

  • Sharp or dull pain
  • Cramps or muscle spasms
  • Weakness
  • Referred pain
  • Tingling
  • Low back pain


However, there can also be cases of asymptomatic slipped discs as well. It means that it is not necessary for the condition to have such symptoms. The situation occurs when the bulging does not press on the spinal nerve or spinal cord.

How Is Slipped Disc Diagnosed?

The doctor will ask you to go through certain tests for an accurate diagnosis. There will also be a reflection on your physical capabilities, assessment of pain, muscle strength, and reflexes. The diagnosis may include the following tests:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • X-rays
  • Myelogram
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan
  • Electromyogram (EMG)


Surgical Vs. Non-Surgical Treatment Options: Which Is Better?

After a thorough diagnosis, the doctor will recommend a suitable treatment option. The available treatment options are as follows:

  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Spinal injections
  • Surgery


Now, know that about 90% of the cases do not require the use of surgery. It comes into play only when the other treatment options fail to relieve the symptoms. And that is why chiropractic care has become a preferred choice in many cases. Also, it is a non-invasive option that allows the body to heal naturally.

Choosing between surgery and chiropractor may get you to think of certain factors, such as:

  • Whether you want an invasive treatment or not. A chiropractor is a good option for a non-invasive treatment.
  • If you are looking for fast relief, then surgery would be a better option than any traditional method of treatment.
  • Also, when the pain is severe and can not be controlled by chiropractic care, surgery would serve better.
  • A chiropractor may help in relieving the symptoms, but it will not treat the underlying symptoms.

Also, it would be better to let your healthcare provider choose the most suitable treatment for you as they would have a better understanding of your condition and will provide the best possible solution. And as you have seen already, there is no better treatment option. It all depends on which one is the best for you, which can differ for different individuals.

Also Read: How Helpful Is A Chiropractor For Headaches? Know The Truth

Ways To Prevent Slipped Disc

It is better to prevent a health condition from happening than to treat it. There are many ways to prevent the chance of a slipped disc.

  • Make sure to rest your feet and relieve the pressure on your back frequently.
  • Do not stress your back to lift heavy weights.
  • Pay heed to your posture and strengthen the core.
  • Try to maintain a healthy weight as it will help you avoid many other diseases as well.


You should know that while the condition is more common in older individuals, even youngsters can suffer from it. So make sure to follow a healthy lifestyle.

How Good Is Chiropractic Care For Treating Slipped Disc?

We saw the different treatment options available for a slipped disc. Now, let’s dive into the use of chiropractic care and how effective it is.

When you visit a chiropractor for the first time, they will have a look at your medical history and conduct physical, neurological, and orthopedic tests. It is a necessary protocol for symptoms of a herniated disc. Based on the examination, the chiropractor will be able to tell

  • Whether your reflexes are intact
  • Or there is some loss of strength or wasting muscles
  • Or if you can feel the sensation along the nerve path


The chiropractor may also ask you to get diagnostic tests for the identification of problems. Once the review of all the necessary information is complete, the chiropractor will determine the most suitable course of action. They may even recommend surgery if it is needed. However, if the situation can be controlled with chiropractic care, then they will try to make you recover as naturally as possible. It ensures that there are no side effects and your body can get back to the way it used to be.

For the treatment, a chiropractor will use spinal manipulation to ease the symptoms. Some techniques used for treatment include:

Flexion-Distraction Technique

It is a common chiropractic technique that can also help with slipped disc treatment. The technique helps in moving the disc to distance it from the nerve. However, it also involves many series of treatments alongside other stimulation therapies and diet. Of course, the chiropractor will be the one suggesting the routine activities.

Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA)

MUA is used for the treatment of many spine-related problems. It requires a specific location, such as a hospital. The type of anesthesia used in this treatment method lasts for about six minutes. The chiropractor performs spinal manipulation while you are in a sedated state. It usually requires an interval of about 2 to 4 weeks for approx. 1-3 sessions.

Pelvic Blocking Techniques

Pelvic block techniques are also used to treat the symptoms of a slipped disc. The treatment makes use of placing the cushioned wedges under both sides of the pelvis. Gentle exercises are also a part of the treatment. It allows mechanical changes that draw away the disc from the nerve if it is near any.

Can A Chiropractor Pop A Slipped Disc Back In Place?

You might have heard of people saying that a chiropractor can pop the disc back into place. While it may be common, it is only a misconception. No matter the techniques used, a chiropractor can not pop back the disc. The popping sound comes because of the release of gas that is within the joint. Under pressure, the gas releases and makes a popping sound.

Also, understand that a chiropractor does not fix the disc. It can only treat the symptoms using spinal manipulation, which we already talked about.

How To Manage The Side Effects Of Slipped Disc After Treatment?

While chiropractic care is well received and is safe and effective, there can be rare chances of side effects. These side effects usually get resolved within a few days. However, you should still have knowledge of them. They are:

  • Stiff back or neck
  • Neck pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Radiating pain


There can also be severe side effects which are even rare but require more care as well. These include:

    • The state of the current slipped disc worsens
    • Cervical arterial stroke due to the blood blockage in the brain
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Nerve root compression in the spine is called cauda equina syndrome.


    To prevent these extremely rare side effects, you should only consult an experienced and professional chiropractor.

    After recovering from the condition, there are many ways to manage the side effects. The ways include:

    • Pain medications to help with the pain after a surgery
    • Icing and heating can help with chronic pain and acute neck or back pain.
    • It is important to walk around and do bits of physical activity to ensure a fast recovery and reduce the chance of any side effects.
    • Make sure to stay away from heavy lifting, especially after surgery. Also, avoid sitting in a place for a long time.
    • Some exercise and stretching is sometimes recommended to regain strength and make the spine stable.

    Can A Slipped Disc Be Fully Cured (Naturally)?

    You might be surprised to know, but in 8 out of 10 cases, a slipped disc heals itself naturally. It has even been stated by a professor of the Neurological Surgery Department. According to the professor, what’s important is to get treatment while allowing the body to recover naturally, which is true in most cases.

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