Question: I was diagnosed by MRI as having a bulging disc at L5/S1 and a herniated disc at L4/L5. Can chiropractic care help me? How long will it take?
Answer: Conditions arising from herniated and bulging disc’s of the lumbar spine range from being asymptomatic to crippling. It is difficult to diagnose or determine a treatment plan for these conditions because each one is very unique to each individual. A combination of testing including an extensive patient case history, muscle testing, neurological testing and orthopedic tests would help determine the most appropriate first line treatment.
Additional testing is sometimes required if extremity pain is persistent for an extended period of time. These tests may include EMG (electromyogram), SSEP (somatosensory evoked potential) or NCV (nerve action velocity test). The purpose of these tests is to determine the permanent nerve damage. I have done thousands of consultations on patients with severe lumbar conditions such as herniated discs, bulging discs, severe degenerative disc and sciatica. The majority have performed in conjunction with my role as clinic director at South Lake Wellness & Injury Center and in some cases as a team physician of the Orlando Solar Bears professional hockey team.
My general opinion on the causative factors of lumbar disc conditions is that it is not the size of the bulge or the herniation seen on the MRI but the location of the inflammation caused by the disc irritation. A study was done in New Zealand years ago where random subjects were asked to have MRI’s of the lumbar spine. The results were almost 75% of those random subjects had herniated or bulging discs yet no sensation of pain. Understanding the anatomy and correlation of the patients symptoms is the key to fixing disc problems. Chiropractic has been successful in the diagnosis and treatment of disc pathology. Many chiropractic procedures do not require a strong forceful procedure. Chiropractic has many gentle approaches to handling these conditions: spinal decompression therapy, flexion distraction, cold laser and electro-acupuncture are some examples of gentle procedures we use every day that have been documented to assist in the relief of lumbar disc conditions. My advice is to try conservative therapy first and medication, injections and surgery last.
Do you have low back pain that you think may be from a disc herniation? I have helped thousands of patients just like you and many have been told that that their only option is medication. Mention this article and you and I can sit down and figure out what is causing your pain during a free consultation. You have nothing to loose but your pain.