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Herniated Disc — Shooting Pain, Tingling, or Numbness

Herniated Disc

Are you afflicted by an unknown source of shooting pain, tingling, or numbness down the arms or legs? How about pain radiating down your body as far as the calf muscle, or even the foot? If you unfortunately find yourself nodding “yes” in response to either of these questions, you might be suffering from a herniated disc. The leading cause of lower back and leg pain (sciatica), herniated discs occur most often in the lumbar region of the lower spine, but can also appear in the upper neck and shoulder regions. In order to recognize the presence of a herniated disc, and understand why this injury can be debilitating if not properly treated, it is helpful to be familiar with the basic anatomy of the spine.

What is a Herniated Disc?

The spine consists of individual bones (vertebrae) stacked on top of one another and separated by circular pads, or inter-vertebral discs. These discs give the spine its ability to bend and twist, in addition to providing critical protection in the form of shock absorption. Inter-vertebral discs consist of two main components: the inner, jelly-like substance known as the Nucleus Pulposis, and the outer ring of ligaments that surround this substance called the Annulus Fibrosis. This ring of annulus fibers keeps the jelly-like nucleus in the center of the inter-vertebral disc when gravity compresses an upright spine under normal conditions. However, if the fibers of the Annulus Fibrosis become weakened or strained, the Nucleus Pulposis can become inflamed, bulge (herniate), or even rupture outside of the vertebrae and into the spinal canal. Developing a herniated disc grows more likely with age, but it can also be the result of twisting or lifting a heavy object. The symptoms of this injury vary from case to case, but can include tingling, aching, or burning sensations in the afflicted area, pain or numbness extending to the arms and legs, muscle weakness, or pain that worsens after sitting, standing, or walking short distances. The presence of leg pain stems from the added pressure that the herniated disc places on the spinal nerves as they run through the spinal canal. If left untreated, a herniated disc can leave permanent nerve damage, and cause a loss of sensation or muscular strength in the back of the legs and inner thighs. Before a taking a surgical approach to this problem, we recommend the conservative treatment provided by chiropractic care. At Grieb Chiropractic Clinic, we offer a free spinal analysis that will allow us identify the presence of a herniated disc, and determine the proper course of therapy that will heal the injury without the use of invasive procedures. Here’s how chiropractic can help.

What is the most effective treatment?

The most effective chiropractic treatment for a herniated disc is the use of the Cox Technique, or spinal flexion distraction. This technique utilizes a specially designed table to administer stretches that gently lengthen and decompress the spine. During treatment, the patient lies face down and the lower half of the table supporting the legs remains mobile. The doctor then guides this section down and away while applying specially targeted hand contact to stabilize the vertebrae above the affected disc. This series of stretches is applied with a push-pull movement in a way that is rhythmical, slow, and smooth, and ultimately intended to reduce the amount of pressure on the damaged inter vertebral disc. This decrease in pressure not only reduces pain in the surrounding area, but also aids in the healing of the strained outer ring of the damaged inter-vertebral disc. The movements create a “vacuum effect” on its inner nucleus (known as disc decompression) drawing the substance back into the center of the disc and reducing the size of or completely resorbing the herniation. This decreases the pressure that was placed on the spinal nerves by the bulging disc, and stops pain, tingling, and numbness from radiating into the legs. The spinal flexion distraction treatments provided at Grieb Chiropractic, combined with electrical stimulation and physiological therapeutics from repeated visits, will ease your immediate discomfort and begin preventative care for your future well being. Try chiropractic first. Give us a call to set up an appointment at (724)-935-6050 today!


Whiplash — Hurt in an Accident?

 

WhiplashAs summertime comes into full swing, thoughts of beach vacations, relaxing by the pool, and time spent with family are first on everyone’s mind. While summer vacation has always been a cherished pastime for kids (and adults) alike, it also brings an invisible danger that people often fail to consider. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the summer months prove more dangerous than those in winter for car safety and frequency of auto accidents. July, August, and September have consistently held the highest rates of car accidents compared to any other months during the year. Several factors contribute to this spike in auto accidents over the summer, such as a greater number of teenage drivers on the road, drivers on vacation who are travelling and therefore unfamiliar with the area, an increase in construction and maintenance work, and tire blowouts due to overheating which can result in whiplash. If you or someone you know falls victim to this trend, the best course of action involves more than just repairing a damaged vehicle.Hurt in an Accident? -- Whiplash

Whiplash

Whiplash, the most common injury resulting from a car accident, can go weeks without detection and have permanent effects on your health and well being if left untreated. “Whiplash” refers to an injury of the neck/upper back caused by a sudden, forceful movement of the head, either back-and-forth or sideways. It is characterized by an extremely rapid extension and flexion of the neck, such as the type of movement you would experience if you were involved in a fender bender. This movement can damage the supporting muscles, connective tissues, and ligaments in the surrounding areas of the injury. The effects of this injury can appear as a variety of symptoms, such as neck pain, headaches, fatigue, and upper back, shoulder, or lower back pain. As previously mentioned, these effects are often delayed and can take weeks, or even months, to fully develop. Even if you do not experience severe pain immediately after a minor accident, you may have sustained a whiplash injury. At Grieb Chiropractic Clinic, we offer a free spinal analysis to evaluate and treat whiplash symptoms, and can start you on the road to recovery back to the full enjoyment of your summer. Here’s how chiropractic can help.

WhiplashDuring an initial spinal analysis, you will receive an evaluation of your spine as a whole, not just the afflicted area. This allows us to identify any other regions of the spine that may have been affected, and check for restricted joint motion, intervertebral disc injury, muscle spasm, and ligament injury. The primary form of chiropractic treatment for these symptoms involves spinal manipulation and adjustment, which reduces inflammation of the nervous system and realigns the spine to its correct position to prevent future injuries. This treatment can be supplemented with electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) technology to further reduce painful irritation. In addition, gentle stretching and massaging of the injured area increases its range of motion, targeting the trigger points that relieve pain in these tightened muscles. After the initial phase of treatment, continued visits to our office will ensure your full recovery and future well being. The combination of these treatments, along with rest and recurrent visits, will work to restore your full range of motion and begin a lifelong habit of spinal care and attention. In addition to a free spinal analysis, Grieb Chiropractic Clinic offers 100% reimbursement toward the treatment of injuries sustained in auto accidents, meaning you will pay nothing out of pocket to ensure your long-term health and comfort. At our office, we can help you and your loved ones recover from life’s unexpected accidents and get back to enjoying time spent together this summer. Give us a call to set up an appointment at (724)-935-6050 today!