In the UK, around 60-80 percent of population experience back pain, and sciatica / leg pain is a common root cause. A slipped / herniated disc is the most common in the sciatica case. A lot of evidence shows that Chiropractic manipulation and / or Acupuncture may be an effective form of treatment for many patients with lumbar disc herniation and sciatica.
A slipped disc is a very painful condition that can occur unexpectedly at anytime. Back pain that radiates to the leg could be a warning to seek immediate medical attention. Often the first sign is a sudden, sharp lower back pain which may spread down the leg known as sciatic neuralgia. You could also feel numbness or tingling in the leg and foot. In the worst cases, it can lead to muscle spasm and weakness, making it difficult to walk, even unable to move at all. Recognizing these warning signals and seeking a healthcare professional can be critical to finding the cause, accurate diagnosis and treatment which will lead to a speedy recovery and prevent any complications.
The most common treatment is pain relief medication - a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Most herniated disc sufferers seek quick relief, and medications can make them comfortable, but it will not cure the problem. Prescribed medications may include muscle relaxants or nerve pain relievers such as amitriptyline, pregabalin, tramadol, gabapentin, and duloxetine. They may also include an epidural steroid injection directed at the level of a herniated disc. The problem with drug dependence is the side effects that come with it. And in addition to the side effects, it can lead to dependency and more chronic and complicated in future.
Diskectomy, where the portion of the disc impinged on the nerve root is removed, is considered if other treatments, such as medication, physical therapy or steroid injections, fail. Although it has a high success rate, there is always the risk of complications such as nerve root damage, bladder incontinence, haemorrhage or rupture of the dural etc.
It's always best way to let your body heal naturally. Natural alternatives can save you from terrible side effects and complications.
People who don't want to depend on medication and undergo surgery, should consider Chiropractic and / or Acupuncture treatment as a great alternative to treating a herniated disc. Although these treatments are not always the first choice, it is a very safe one and will target the root cause. It also gives the herniated disc a chance to repair itself. Chiropractic treatment for herniated disc includes the health of your spine, and your overall musculoskeletal health.
A Chiropractor uses a variety of methods / technique to provide a tailor-made treatment plan depending on the location and severity of the herniated disc. These methods may consist of gentle spinal manipulation and mobilization techniques which realign the spine and reduce / relieve the pain. It may also be combined with decompression therapy, which stretches and decompresses the spine using a special traction device to reduce impingement of the nerve root. Dry needling / Acupuncture may be applied to reduce the muscle pain and pain relief. Also specific exercises will be given to promote the healing process and minimize the risk of further injury.
Many case studies support the judicious use of manipulation. Furthermore, it provides evidence that manipulation may be an effective form of treatment for many patients with lumbar disc herniation and sciatica with neurological deficit.
By Dr. Yoon Jeon. MChiro, MB, BSc, Dip.TCM, PGCert.