A herniated disc is the result of two vertebrae being forced together on one side. The result is a bulging disc that begins to protrude outside of the bony, protective ring of the vertebrae. The disc is a small, fluid-filled sac that acts as a shock absorber between the two vertebrae. The disc prevents the two vertebrae from slamming together when a person falls or if they are jolted by a sudden movement. A herniated disc can eventually rupture or begin to leak if the pressure is not alleviated. Chiropractic adjustments can relieve the pressure on the disc by gently separating the two vertebrae. As the vertebrae begin to separate, the disc is allowed to return to its normal position.
Herniated discs can be treated through the use of an inversion table that uses the body's own weight to gently separate the two vertebrae. The separation creates a small vacuum that sucks the disc back into place and holds it in place. A chiropractic adjustment can accomplish the same type of separation if the herniation is not severe. Combining chiropractic adjustments with physical therapy and stretching will help to keep the vertebrae separated. Other therapies may also be used, including massage therapy. Using several treatment options at one time can be beneficial by restoring blood flow and strengthening the soft tissues that support the spine.
In cases where the herniation is minor, chiropractic adjustments may be enough to correct the problem. Gently separating the two vertebrae will release the pressure placed on the disc. Although one chiropractic adjustment may not provide maximum results, repeated adjustments will gradually retrain both the muscles and the bones to remain in their natural position. Stretching before and after the adjustment may increase blood flow to the area. This provides the tissues with an added boost of oxygen to kickstart the healing process. Once the chiropractor evaluates the situation, he will be able to determine how many adjustments may be needed to keep the vertebrae in place.
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