Herniated Disc Treatment In Gilbert, AZ

Dr. Brice Neff DC Gilbert AZ

Herniated Disc

To understand herniated discs, you must understand what a disc is. The spinal column consists of a series of spinal bones stacked on top of each other and separated by rubbery cushions or rubbery discs which absorb shocks from daily living activities. Each disc has a tough, rubbery exterior and a soft gelatinous inner portion. Weakness or injury on any disc causes its inner portion to protrude through the rubbery exterior, and it becomes a slipped (herniated, bulged, or ruptured) disc. It is painful and uncomfortable and may cause pain and numbness along the nerve.

Untreated herniated discs can cause severe complications including Disrupted nerve impulses, Irregular bowel movements, Irregular bowel movements, Incontinence, and more. Chiropractors are safe and effective in the treatment of most herniated discs. A chiropractor specializing in disc herniations will go through your medical history, physically examine you, perform tests and diagnostic imaging, and check your posture. All this will determine the type of herniated disc you have and the suitable chiropractic therapy.

Symptoms Of Herniated Disc

Symptoms of a slipped disc include:

  • Pain and numbness are mostly on one side of the body
  • Pain that radiates to extremities
  • Unbearable back and neck pain
  • Pain that worsens after sitting or standing
  • Pain that worsens at night or with specific movements
  • Muscle weakness, Muscle spasms
  • Uncomfortable tingling or pins and needles that affect motor control
  • Overactive reflexes

Types Of Herniated Disc

Slipped discs can happen on any part of the spine, but the lower back is the commonest.

  • Disc protrusion – the gelatinous material escapes from the center of the disc to the periphery, but everything remains intact
  • Disc extrusion – the gelatinous material partially escapes the confines of the disc
  • Disc sequestration – the gelatinous material is squeezed sufficiently to become free-floating

Causes Of Herniated Disc

A herniated disc results from a weak spot or defect in the annulus, the retaining wall of the rubbery disc. The weakness or defect is caused by:

  • Certain motions, such as twisting or turning to lift an object
  • Lifting huge and heavy objects
  • Disc degeneration
  • Prolonged lack of joint motion
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Weak muscles
  • Spinal injury
  • Recurring back strain, Poor posture

Temporary Pain Relief

Many cases of slipped discs in Gilbert are initially treated through non-surgical pain management approaches such as:

  • Bed rest for a few days to relieve pressure on the back
  • Pain medication
  • Exercises that stretch the back and surrounding muscles
  • Physiotherapy to strengthen the abdominal, back, and neck muscles
  • Sleep on the back with a pillow under the knees
  • Sleep on the side with a pillow between the thighs

Herniated Disc Treatment

Several treatment options are available for slipped disc, including cervical disc herniation. These are:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  • Cortisone injections into the area around the spinal nerve
  • Muscle relaxer 
  • muscle spasms
  • Opioid for severe pain
  • Modify activities that worsen the pain
  • Avoid movements that cause pain
  • Moderate physical exercise
  • Heating and/or cold therapy

Treatment of slipped disc may be in the form of:

  • Physical therapy
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Epidural steroid injection

Spinal surgery to remove the protruding portion of the disc if symptoms of a slipped disc still bother you.

A herniated disc chiropractor will use chiropractic techniques, stretching, decompression, and physical therapy to correct the problem.

Does Medical Insurance Cover Herniated Disc?

Yes, private and public medical insurance cover treatment for herniated discs, including surgery if you need it. 

Each insurer is different, so talk to your health insurance representative about what is covered and how much.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Get A Disability For Herniated Discs?

Yes, if slipped disc, including lumbar disc herniation, is not treated well, it can cause disability. Nerve roots and the spinal cord can be compromised, causing extreme pain, disrupted nerve impulses, limited mobility, and muscle atrophy, leading to motor loss, loss of reflexes, incontinence, etc. It is, therefore, wise to get effective treatment of slipped disc from a herniated disc chiropractor.

Can You Still Walk With A Herniated Disc?

Initially, you can walk, but you may develop complications if you don’t correct them. These include partial paralysis and muscle atrophy that can cause difficulty in walking.

What Activities Should You Avoid With A Herniated Disc?

Avoid the following common activities that worsen the condition and the pain:

  • Sitting for a prolonged period
  • Activities that require heavy lifting, forward-bending, and twisting such as gardening and shoveling snow
  • Exercises that cause repetitive loading on your lower back
  • Squats, leg presses, sit-ups, and toe touches
  • Yoga poses worsen the pain or require too much bending of the back

Can I Go To The Gym With A Herniated Disc?

Yes. It is essential to develop and maintain strong muscles and keep the whole body supple. You just have to avoid the following exercises that put too much strain on the back:

  • Exercises that cause repetitive loading on your lower back
  • Squats, leg presses, sit-ups, toe touches, etc.
  • Yoga poses worsen the pain or require too much bending of the back.

How Long Does It Take A Herniated Disc To Heal Without Surgery?

If you take pain medication, avoid strenuous exercise and practice the right exercises for herniated disc, you can recover within a few weeks to 3 months. If these don’t work, try chiropractic care. It involves natural but gentle techniques and therapies that correct the herniation without surgery.

Content Reviewed By

Dr. Brice Neff DC Gilbert AZ
Doctor of Chiropractic