Dr Drew Hall

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Disc Bulge and Herniation Chiropractic Treatment

Posted in Disc Herniation on Nov 28, 2018

What is a disc bulge? And can Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care help? Our Los Angeles offices have seen over 10000 patients over the past 18 years. Many cases that were scheduled for disc herniation surgery have recovered naturally through upper cervical care.  

Disc herniations and bulges are the results of either a severe injury or repetitive long-term postural imbalances.  When the spine becomes imbalanced due to asymmetrical postural muscle tone, the terrain becomes ripe for disc bulge and herniation. Imagine if one of your hips is ½ inch higher than the other. 

As you live in this imbalance the discs of the spine carry more stress and weight on one side compared to the other. Over time the asymmetry of wear and tear on the body can result in a disc bulge.  In this article, we will discuss how upper neck spinal misalignments can be the root cause of disc bulges in the spine. Correcting the underlying reason that postural imbalance happens in the first place can be the first step to recovery.

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What is a Disc Bulge-What is a Disc Herniation?

A disc bulge or herniation occurs when the outer layer of the disc weakens (annulus fibrosis) and the internal part of the disc known as the nucleus purposes penetrates the outer wall creating a “herniation”.  Most disc injuries are not from a one-time event but rather the result of long-term postural imbalances that cause micro-trauma to the disc.  Once the outer part of the disc is weakened it then becomes susceptible to disc herniation.

Disc Bulge Symptoms- What is a Disc?

Most bulging discs appear at the rear and side portions of the affected disc and can put pressure on the nerve that exits below the disc, causing different pain syndromes. In severe cases, you may experience heaviness in your legs and/or difficulty walking. Common symptoms of Bulging Disc include:

  • In the lumbar spine: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet
  • In the cervical spine: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the neck, arms, hands, and sometimes in the head
  • In the thoracic spine (less common): pain in the upper back, radiating through the stomach or chest, which patients often confuse for cardiovascular problems

How Can Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic Help Disc Herniations?

Over the past 18 years our offices have seen well over 100 cases of disc patients that were headed for surgery and recovered through the Blair Upper  .  When a disc bulges and entraps either the spinal nerve or herniates into the spinal cord this structural nerve impingement can result in severe pain. As a result, patients are willing to do anything to get out of pain. Unfortunately, many go under the knife when more conservative measures can often eliminate the need for surgery.

 The Blair technique can often help disc bulge patients by helping the central nervous system's ability to right normal postural control. The body's postural centers are located in the brain stem.  A prior neck injury can cause spinal misalignment at the top of the neck.

 This spinal misalignment can interfere with the body's vital centers called the brainstem. The brain stem is responsible for postural muscle tone control and as a result neck trauma can result in long term postural imbalances that can lead to disc herniations. 

 Correcting upper cervical misalignments can help the body restore balanced posture and, in many cases, allow the body to heal disc herniations. When a herniation is present the muscles in that region of the spine become spastic. 

 This is the bodies protective mechanism. When the muscles become spastic it increases the pressure between the vertebrae where the disc rests. This increased pressure does not allow the disc to reabsorb the herniation.

 In fact, one medical modality used to “treat” disc herniations is traction. Traction “pulls” the spine decreasing the pressure within the disc and its goal is for the bulge to be reabsorbed. Similarly, when an upper cervical spinal correction is made, the postural muscles throughout the spine become looser and thereby decreasing the pressure between the vertebrae and thereby allowing the body to heal and repair spinal disc injury to the best of its ability.

What Does A Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractor Do? What is a Disc Bulge and How Can We Correct It?

What exactly does an upper cervical chiropractor do? Blair upper cervical chiropractors are specially trained to locate and correct structural misalignments in the upper cervical spine. While the goal of Blair upper cervical care is not to treat symptoms, their improvement can be a side benefit of removing nerve interference in the upper cervical spine. 

Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractors take precise imaging in the form of cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) or digital x-ray to determine the exact direction of cervical joint misalignment.

 This works because the joints in the neck are mirror images of one another.  Therefore, if a whiplash or other injury damages the soft tissue and ligaments that support the normal joint motion, and the joints become misaligned imaging the joints will allow the doctor to see the direction you are out of alignment and the magnitude. This information is then used to make a precise spinal correction unique to the individual's misalignment and anatomy.

 Once corrected, the patient is then monitored overtime to ensure that the body is healing, and the correction is staying in its normal range of motion. If on subsequent visits the vertebrae have misaligned again another correction is administered.

 If the objective tests indicate that there is no interference and the vertebrae are in their proper range of motion, then no correction is necessary. Healing occurs when nervous system interference stays checked out over time. If you or a loved one is looking for relief from disc herniation symptoms or you are just looking to be healthier our Los Angeles offices offer a FREE consultation. Los Angeles office 213 399-7772 and Carson office 310 324-6172. And we hope we answered the question “What is a Disc bulge?”