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Coram-Selden Chiropractic

Herniated disks and sciatica – what you should know

David J BenEliyahu, DC FICC DABCSP
Coram Selden Chiropractic Office
(631)736-4414

Spinal disks are the pads that sit between vertebrae and act as shock absorbers for the spine. When a disk herniates (sometimes referred to as a slipped disk, bulging disk or protruding disk), the soft center of the spinal disk pushes through a crack in its tough exterior casing and into the spinal canal. Some herniated disks show no symptoms, while others push on spinal nerves and can cause pain, numbness or weakness.

Disk herniation is commonly caused by gradual, age-related wear and tear or disk degeneration. As you age, your disks become more prone to tearing or rupturing when strained. Other causes of disk herniation can include using the muscles in your back instead of your legs to lift heavy objects, as well as twisting or turning while lifting, or even a traumatic injury such as a fall or blow to the back.

Common symptoms of herniated disks include back pain, pain in the buttock, and pain that radiates down the leg, also known as sciatica. This is caused by pinching or irritation and inflammation of the spinal nerve by the disk.

Diagnosis of herniated disks is made by a detailed medical history and physical examination by your doctor and imaging tests, typically an MRI, which can show the location of the herniated disk as well as any nerves that might be affected.

Conservative non-surgical and non-invasive care options are usually the first recommended course of treatment. This includes rest, proper diet and exercise, and chiropractic care and physical therapy. Chiropractors counsel patients on exercise and diet as well as utilize special tables referred to as Cox tables, that provide spinal disc decompression to reduce the disk herniation.

Dr BenEliyahu published a paper on the utility of chiropractic to reduce MRI documented disc herniations, and found that disc herniations can oftentimes reduce in size or even disappear upon repeat MRI imaging. This was found to happen after a few months and after patients got clinical relief, which happened sooner. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8976479/
Ninety percent of patients with disk herniations and sciatica do not need surgery.

If your symptoms are not going away or are getting worse, you should be evaluated at the Coram Selden Chiropractic Office with a physical and neurologic examination. We would order x-rays and/or MRI imaging, to determine the extent of your injuries, and what the best course of therapy would be.

Treatment we offer includes chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, and medical care.
Call to make an appointment: (631) 736-4414