Can Chiropractic Care Treat Herniated Discs?

A herniated disc can occur anywhere along your spine. It is a relatively common condition that often affects the neck and lower back regions. Vertebral discs are important parts of the spine. As such, injury to these discs can cause problems such as decreased mobility and pain. Additionally, the problems can occur at any time. 

If you have a herniated disc, you should consider the benefits of chiropractic therapy before resorting to pain medication or surgery. Chiropractic care can help treat the condition without the need for surgery. You do not need to live with the pain and discomfort from a bulging or herniated disc. 

What Is a Herniated Disc?

This refers to a problem with the rubbery or jelly-like cushions located between individual vertebrae of the spine. The spinal discs have a soft nucleus or center encased in a rubbery, tougher exterior. A herniated disc, also called a ruptured or slipped disc, occurs when some of the soft nuclei push through a tear or hole in the rubbery exterior known as the annulus. 


This problem can occur in any part of your spine. Depending on where it occurs, it can irritate nearby spinal nerves, resulting in weakness, numbness, or pain in a leg or arm. You may not experience any symptoms from a herniated disc. But sometimes, people with this condition experience symptoms such as:

  • Weakness of the muscles served by the affected spinal nerves.

  • Changes in bowel or bladder function.

  • Sciatica.

  • Difficulty stretching or moving.

  • Pain when moving the neck.

  • Low back pain.

  • Radiating tingling or numbness in the parts of the body served by the affected nerves.

  • Leg or arm pain.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

If you are suffering from a herniated disc, you should consider visiting a chiropractor. He or she will address the pain you may be experiencing and any other symptoms. During your initial appointment, your chiropractor will examine your medical history and perform a physical exam. He or she will also perform various neurological and orthopedic tests to determine the cause of your symptoms. 

Your chiropractor will determine whether your reflexes are intact. He or she will check for signs of loss of muscle strength, in addition to checking for a loss of sensation along the path of the spinal nerve. Your chiropractor will also carefully examine your posture. If necessary, he or she may order an MRI or X-ray to help diagnose the specific source of your problem. 

Chiropractors Check the Entire Spine

Maybe you are only experiencing lower back pain. Nevertheless, your chiropractor will also look at your neck. The purpose of a comprehensive evaluation is to determine the overall functioning of your spine. This is because the symptoms you are experiencing in one area of your spine can affect other parts of your body.

Techniques Used by Chiropractors to Treat Herniated Discs

Some of the common chiropractic techniques used to treat herniated discs include:

  • Flexion-distraction.

  • Pelvic blocking.

  • Manipulation under anesthesia.

Your chiropractor will recommend a treatment plan based on your specific problem and the location of the herniated disc. If chiropractic care fails to improve your symptoms, your chiropractor may co-manage your condition or recommend a spine surgeon or pain management specialist.

To learn how chiropractic care can help treat herniated discs, visit ReAlign Chiropractic at our office in Chicago, Illinois. You can call 773-917-0900 today to schedule an appointment.