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Non-Surgical Treatment for Herniated Disc

 
 

 WHAT IS A HERNIATED DISC?

A herniated disc is a disc that extrudes out of the annlus. It is also referred to as a bulging disc, ruptured disc or slipped disc which causes pain or numbness in the affected areas.
It can occur at cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, however, more often occur at lumbar spine, and next is at cervical spine.

CAUSES OF A HERNIATED DISC

As people grow older, the discs become flatter -- less cushiony. If a disc becomes too weak, the outer part (annulus) may tear. The inside part of the disc pushes through the tear and presses on the nerves beside it. Herniated discs are most common in people in their 30’s and 40’s.

The spine is made up of a series of connected bones called "vertebrae". The disc is a combination of strong connective tissues that hold one vertebra to the next, and acts as a cushion between the vertebrae. The disc is made of a tough outer layer called the "annulus fibrosus" and a gel-like center called the "nucleus pulposus." As you get older, the center of the disc may start to lose water content, making the disc less effective as a cushion. This may cause a displacement of the disc’s center (called a herniated disc or ruptured disc) through a crack in the outer layer. This can occur in the neck (cervical region) or the back (lumbar region) and the mid back (thorasic spine).

The Inllustration of the Herniated Disc

Biomechanical Affect

Disc herniations can result from general wear and tear, such as when performing jobs that require constant sitting. However, herniations often result from jobs that require lifting. Traumatic (quick) injury to lumbar discs commonly occurs when lifting while bent at the waist, rather than lifting with the legs while the back is straight. Minor back pain and chronic back tiredness are indicators of general wear and tear that make one susceptible to herniation on the occurrence of a traumatic event, such as bending to pick up a pencil or falling. When the spine is straight, such as in standing or lying down, internal pressure is equalized on all parts of the discs. While sitting or bending to lift, internal pressure on a disc can move from 17 psi (lying down) to over 300 psi (lifting with a rounded back).

Emotional Affect

Another less known cause of disc problem is emotional stress. The involvement of emotional stress causing disc degeneration or herniation is unrecognized by most disc specialist; however a number of neck or back pain patients that caused by disc problem can recall remarkable stressful periods in their life just before the onset of neck or back pain. Prolonged emotional stress creates a sympathetic dominant state in the autonomic nervous system and leads to decreased blood flow to most of the organs, muscles and peripheral tissues. When the blood flow to the spinal muscles become decreased, the muscle becomes tight, lose flexibility, and are easily fatigued.

SYMPTOMS OF A HERNIATED DISC

Symptoms of a herniated disc can vary depending on the location of the herniation and the types of soft tissue that become involved. They can range from little or no pain if the disc is the only tissue injured, to severe and unrelenting neck or low back pain that will radiate into the regions served by affected nerve roots that are irritated or impinged by the herniated material. Often, herniated discs are not diagnosed immediately, as the patients come with undefined pains in the thighs, knees or feet. Other symptoms may include sensory changes such as numbness, tingling, muscular weakness, paralysis, paresthesia, and affection of reflexes. If the herniated disc is in the lumbar region the patient may also experience sciatica due to irritation of one of the nerve roots of the sciatic nerve. Unlike a pulsating pain or pain that comes and goes, which can be caused by muscle spasm, pain from a herniated disc is usually continuous or at least is continuous in a specific position of the body.

Cervical Disc:

MRI scan of cervical disc herniation between fifth and sixth cervical vertebral bodies. Note that herniation between sixth and seventh cervical vertebral bodies are most common.
Cervical disc herniations occur in the neck, most often between the fifth & sixth (C5/6) and the sixth and seventh (C6/7) cervical vertebral bodies. Symptoms can affect the back of the skull, the neck, shoulder girdle, scapula, shoulder, arm, and hand. The nerves of the cervical plexus and brachial plexus can be affected.

 

Thoracic Disc:

Thoracic discs are very stable and herniations in this region are quite rare. Herniation of the uppermost thoracic discs can mimic cervical disc herniations, while herniation of the other discs can mimic lumbar herniations.

 Lumbar Disc:

MRI scan of large herniation of the disc between the L4-L5 vertebrae.
Lumbar disc herniations occur in the lower back, most often between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebral bodies or between the fifth and the sacrum. Symptoms can affect the lower back, buttocks, thigh, anal/genital region (via the Perineal nerve), and may radiate into the foot and/or toe. The sciatic nerve is the most commonly affected nerve, causing symptoms of sciatica. The femoral nerve can also be affected and cause the patient to experience a numb, tingling feeling throughout one or both legs and even feet or even a burning feeling in the hips and legs.

 TREATMENT OF A HERNIATED DISC

The majority of herniated discs do not require surgery. Our treatment approach addresses all aspects of disc problem, both biomechanical and psycho emotional using acupuncture, chiropractic adjustment, decompression therapy, soft tissue manipulation. Acupuncture simulation to the related muscles is helpful to correct distortion, release pain, reduce inflammation and increase local blood circulation. Chiropractic adjustment is provided to correct vertebral biomechanical imbalances and restore functional mobility. Acupuncture is also applied to the whole body and is utilized to correct imbalance the autonomic nervous system. Since it is almost impossible to avoid stressing in this day and age, we should rather focus on how to recover quickly from stress in order to avoid the harmful consequences of prolonged stress.
 Decompression can create vacuum effect within disc spaces, because during procedure of decompression therapy, a spinal disc can be isolated and placed under negative pressure by cycling through distraction and relaxation phases and by proper positioning.
The vacuum effect accomplishes two things. From a mechanical standpoint, disc material that has protruded or herniated outside the normal confines of the disc can be pulled back within the disc by the vacuum created within the disc. Also, the vacuum within the disc stimulates in growth of blood supply, secondarily stimulating a healing response. This results in pain reduction and proper healing at the injured site.  

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATURAL TREATMENT AND OPEN BACK SURGERY

1)      Comparing to a high-risk open back surgery, natural treatment is absolutely safe.
2)      In most cases, herniated discs occur in more than one level. Open back surgery can only repair herniated disc in one level at one time. This is why some patients still suffer from pain after an open back surgery. Some patients even experienced as many as 4-5 times of surgery. Our technique can treat herniated disc in multiple levels at the same time.
3)      Natural treatment can be performed more effectively by combining therapy and prevention, since acupuncture can increase blood circulation which could bring more nutrition and oxygen to the discs tissues, at the same time remove out more local toxicities. Chiropractic, decompression therapy can reduce pressure on discs which can treat and prevent disc herniation.  

 

About Dr. Lu

Dr. Lu  completed his medical education and training in China. (The Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Shandong University Medical College respectively) Over 20 years clinic and research experiences in both medical school and hospital, Dr. Lu learned both West Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine including modern medical technology, acupuncture, medicinal herbs, and specializing in neurology. After years practice and accomplishments in China, Dr. Lu was invited as a visiting  professor at the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine in 1991. After excellent achievements in research program funded by NIH and NSF, Dr. Lu decided to become a Doctor of Chiropractic in order to introduce the Traditional Chinese Medicine to the Western culture. Obtained Doctor Degree of Chiropractic from Parker College of Chiropractic, Dr. Lu became a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic and board certified Acupuncturist and began his practice in Dallas Texas since then. Dr. Lu learned NAET and became a NAET Instructor in 2003 and 2014 respectively. In 2007 Dr. Lu was voted the best Acupuncturist in the City of Richardson by Living Magazine. In 2013, Dr. Lu was rated the Best Chiropractor in City of Plano. In 2014 advanced to America's Top Chiropractors specialized in Natural Medicine.

 

Dr. Lu Acu

Doctor of Chiropractic
Board Certified Acupuncturist
M.D. in China
Over 20 years of Clinic Experience
Member of ACA

Best Chiro 2013
Natural Medicine

America's Top Chiro

Acupuncture Care
Chiropractic Care
 
 
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