If you have severe low back pain and chiropractic care is not helping, you may have herniated discs in your lumbar spine. In fact, herniated lumbar discs are fairly common...and chiropractic usually will help them. It just depends on the way the way the disc is positioned on the spinal cord or nerve roots.
Sometimes the spinal disc gets jammed up against a nerve and a slow motion chain reaction occurs...muscle spasms, inflammation, loss of disc height, loss of water content of the disc, degeneration, stenosis, and back pain...sometimes severe back pain...back pain that interferes with your life. And get this...this mostly happens with no symptoms. The symptoms come later and can trick you into thinking the problem just started.
In order to know for sure that you have a herniated disc in your low back...we need an MRI. If you have one already, great...we know. But if you don't...we usually try some chiropractic first to see if it will help. If it doesn't, we consider an MRI. At least that's what we do at Executive Express Chiropractic.
Why not just order the MRI right off the bat? Well...MRI's are expensive, and the standard of care is to wait...and it usually turns out to be the right thing to do. There are so many incidents of low back pain and sciatica...if doctors sent all of them for an MRI first, it would short circuit the medical system...the costs would be too high.
Typically, I consider an MRI after 3-4 weeks of gentle chiropractic if there is minimum response or the patient takes a turn for the worse. And I have a next step in mind if the patient qualifies medically... nonsurgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000. After all...there aren't a whole lot of treatment choices out there for disc herniations. There's pain meds and muscle relaxers, cortisone injections, surgery, and physical therapy.
Chances are...if chiropractic did not help, physical therapy wont either. So that leaves the medical approach...and some patients go that route first. It just depends. Lots of the patients I treat with the DRX9000 have already tried everything under the sun. They are coming to me specifically for spinal decompression therapy.
However, some patients come to me for low back pain, or sciatica, and want chiropractic care. When we do our physical exam we are usually able to determine if we think a patient has a herniated disc. If this is the case, we come up with a treatment program of spinal adjustments and therapies, with a backup plan of spinal decompression if the chiropractic fails.
If we do not have an MRI, we order one. If an insurance company is involved, they want to know if we have tried conservative care first or are we just ordering the MRI right off the bat. They want us to have tried conservative care...unless the symptoms are crippling...which is rare.
Anyway, if we confirm that there are disc herniations in the low back we discuss the DRX9000, and most of my patients give it a shot. And yes...the majority of them respond favorably. Some get spooked and go the medical route. And some even have surgery.
But decompression is just a smart next step if chiropractic fails to deliver...which is why we do it.
Before going the surgical route, read the book "Healing Back Pain" by Dr. John Sarno. It gives you a VERY different perspective on why you might have back pain and the fact that Back Pain may be COMPLETELY UNRELATED to ANYTHING that X-rays or MRI's find in your back!!
Several studies have shown that patients with herniated disks who do NOT get surgery are pain free 10 years later, just as in the group that DID get surgery.
Read that book before undergoing ANY back surgery!
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