Frequently Asked Questions About Herniated Discs in Santa Clara

Do you have back and/or leg pain? If you do, you may have one or more herniated discs in your lower back. Doctor David Hoewisch, our chiropractor in Santa Clara, can examine you to determine if you have a disc herniation, we will recommend a treatment program and answer all of your questions.

For Years, your Chiropractor, has treated many different cases of Herniated disc. There are many similarities but the causes of a herniated disc changes from patient to patient. That is why it is important for us to do a thorough evaluation prior to treatment. 

1. What Is the Different Between a Herniated Disc and a Bulging Disc?

The terms herniated discs and bulging disc along with disc herniation are often used interchangeably. While there is no standard concession on the definitions of these terms, in general, a herniated disc, also called disc herniation, is used to describe a disc where the inner portion has broken through the outer portion. In order to understand this further, it is important to understand the anatomy of a disc, which is comprised of two sections. The inner section is relatively soft and jelly-like. The outer section is tougher and holds the inner section in place. When the discs start to dry out, due to age or other factors, the outer section can form cracks. These cracks allow the inner section to push through the outer section, which results in a disc herniation.

A bulging disc which is different from a herniated disc. Although similar, they are not the same. A bulging disc means that the disc is bulging over more than 50% of the edge of the vertebra. And it is only the outer section of the disc that bulges out. The effect is the same as if you were to squeeze an Oreo cookie so that the creamy middle bulges out more than 50% of the circumference of the cookie.

A herniated disc means two things; 1) the inner section pokes out beyond the edge of the vertebra, and 2) the disc pokes out less than 50% of the circumference of the vertebra.

A bulging disc means that degeneration has started, and the bulging disc slowly wears down the edges of the vertebra like sandpaper on wood. Sooner or later, this wearing down will cause pain and other health problems.

A herniated disc can put pressure on the surrounding soft tissues (like the nerves) and also can cause pain and other health problems.]

2. How Do I Know if I Have a Disc Herniation?

Not all herniated discs cause symptoms, which means you may not know you have one. However, typical symptoms include back pain, inability to stand with your back straight or poor posture, trouble walking and decreased flexibility in your back. If the disc herniation is putting pressure on your sciatic nerve, you may also experience leg pain and muscle weakness in your legs.

3. What Causes Disc Herniations?

Disc herniation can be caused by several different injuries and conditions. The most common condition is degenerative disc disease (DDD). This spinal condition is generally age-related and occurs as the discs start to dry out and lose their flexibility. Thus, not drinking enough water can cause the discs to dry out and develop cracks in the outer section. Other causes of disc herniation include hard falls, car accidents and a genetic disposition. You may also develop a herniated disc as the result of a repetitive motion injury, especially if you work a manual labor job or participate in physical activities that require a lot of twisted, like golf.

4. How Does Your Chiropractor in Santa Clara Treat Herniated Discs?

Our chiropractor treats herniated discs with several different natural therapies that are designed to move your vertebrae into their proper positions, increase the spaces between the discs and reduce inflammation of the soft tissues surrounding the vertebrae. Our most common therapies include manual and KST instrument adjustments from our Chiropractor. Manual chiropractic adjustments are performed by our chiropractor, using his hands, fingers and forearms, in order to realign misaligned vertebrae. Instrument adjustments are also used to realign the vertebrae. These instrument adjustments are performed using a hand-held device that delivers the adjustment automatically via a rubber-tipped adjustment arm. Many people find instrument adjustments extremely comfortable because there is no twisting, popping or cracking of your spinal joints. KST chiropractic is a more involved type of adjustment that involves testing and checking for unbalances in the spine and the body before performing the adjustment. The type of adjustment used on you by our chiropractor will depend on your preferences and the severity of your herniated disc.

5. What Can I Expect Once I Begin Treatment for My Disc Herniation?

Our treatment programs for herniated discs are generally divided into three stages. The first stage is symptoms relief so that you can start to feel better. The second phase is correction. This is where we apply adjustments and use other therapies to help heal your disc so that it refills with fluid and retracts into its proper place. The last phase is ongoing maintenance where we strive to help you prevent future back injuries.

6. How Do I Schedule an Appointment With Your Santa Clara Chiropractor for My Back Pain?

You can quickly schedule an appointment with our Santa Clara chiropractor for your back pain by calling us at 408-985-8118.

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