Spinal discs are small, rubbery cushions that fill the spaces between the vertebrae in the back. In some cases, the softer center of the disc protrudes. This is known as a “bulging, protruded, or herniated disc.” Most herniated discs occur in the lower back, but they can occur in neck and other parts of the back as well.
Often, surgery is given as the only option to heal damaged discs in the back. This type of surgery is often risky, as it can lead to further trauma and pain, let alone the huge recovery time and expense.
The most common symptoms of a damaged disc are:
Increased pain with coughing and sneezing
Pain in the arm or leg
Numbness or tingling in the affected body part
Weakness in the muscles served by affected nerves
In most cases, patients develop bulging or herniated discs because of normal wear and tear related to aging. As a person ages, the spinal discs lose some of their fluid content, which makes them less flexible and more likely to become herniated with even minor activities. In other cases, an injured disc may occur after a traumatic event, such as a fall, or strain injury.
Some people are more likely to develop herniated discs than others. Bulging and herniated discs are more common among people who are overweight or spend a lot of time performing activities that put stress on the back. Having a family history of herniated discs may also raise a patient’s risk of developing this condition.
FTMC develops customized treatment plans for every patient with a disc condition. The clinical team will develop this treatment plan based on the patient’s specific symptoms, the location of the herniated disc, and other unique characteristics. All therapies and services rendered are closely monitored by our highly trained medical staff.
In most cases, the practitioners at FTMC will be able to diagnose disc conditions based on the patient’s symptoms and the results of a physical exam. The clinician may also order x-rays to determine the cause of the pain. Once the clinical team has confirmed the diagnosis of a bulging or herniated disc, they will create a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan designed to address the patient’s pain and reduce the chances of recurrence. Some of the treatments that may be incorporated into this plan include:
Trigger point injections - Trigger point injections contain small amounts of medication that alleviate pain in a specific area. Our Nurse Practitioner can use these injections to reduce pain from disc injury.
Corrective exercises - In some cases, a patient’s poor posture or other bad habits contribute to disc problems. Corrective exercises strengthen weak areas and teach patients how to protect the spinal segment from injury.
Decompression therapy- The mobilization and elongation of the spinal discs and joints under computer controlled, horizonal traction is called decompression therapy. This decompression has demonstrated remarkable results in alleviating the pressure within the disc itself, promotion of healing of the disc inner structures, relief of the spinal pressure from the disc material, as well as, remobilization of the effected spinal joints.
Spinal manipulation - Spinal manipulation works by improving the alignment of the vertebrae, which may alleviate some of the pain associated with spinal disc injuries.
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