Herniated Disc Chiropractors

Herniated Disc Chiropractors in Watkinsville & Athens

Back pain can be caused by many underlying issues, from pulled muscles to arthritis. However, one of the most dreaded causes is a herniated disc. This can cause sharp and burning sensations, which can sometimes travel all the way to the extremities. So what is it, and what can be done to address it?

What Is a Herniated Disc?

To understand this condition, we must first understand the anatomy of the spine. Each bone segment is called a vertebra, and these vertebrae are separated by discs. Discs act as cushions that prevent bones from rubbing against one another. While they are softer in the nucleus center, each disc is surrounded by a lot of sturdy fibrous layers called the annulus, which protects the nucleus of the disc.


model skeleton of a herniated disc chiropractor athens ga

doctor pointing to a herniated disc chiropractor athens ga


Like many soft tissues in the body, the annulus can degenerate and rupture. There are many causes for this, but the end result is that the nucleus can get pushed out of the disc. If the ruptured nucleus presses against a nerve — of which there are many in the spine — then the patient can begin to experience a range of symptoms.


Location of Herniated Discs

Since every segment of the spine has a disc in between, a herniated disc can happen at any level. However, it most frequently appears in the lower back (lumbar spine) and the neck (cervical spine). These are the most flexible and often-used parts of the spine, making them more susceptible to injury.

Causes of Herniated Discs

As we age, the annulus of each disc gradually becomes weaker and weaker. That’s why the elderly are more prone to herniated discs than younger people. Genetics and lifestyle can play a huge part as well.
Misalignment of the spine that leaves a spinal joint stuck slightly out of its normal position, not allowing normal movement, can actually leave the annulus in a state of ongoing weakness and more prone to herniation.
Since discs can become less flexible, sudden twisting movements or minor strains can rupture the annulus. Weightlifting, accidents, or simple motor activities like bending down can also cause herniated discs.

Signs of a Herniated Disc

The symptoms of herniated discs vary from person to person. The specific area where the nucleus is leaking out can also affect what an individual might feel, especially since this changes which nerves are affected. In most cases, these are symptoms of a herniated disc:

  • Sharp or burning pain in the spine
  • Pain in the arms and/or legs
  • Numbness in the arms and/or legs
  • Tingling sensations in various body parts
  • Weakness

elderly woman with a cane holding her lower back in need of chiropractic care for a herniated disc

Diagnosing Herniated Discs

young athlete on a running track holding their lower back in need of a herniated disc chiropractor

Having the above symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have a herniated disc. You’ll need to visit a spine specialist professional, like the doctors at Chiropractic Works, to get an official diagnosis. They’ll recommend thorough physical exam and one or more of the following procedures to determine the cause of your symptoms:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
  • X-Ray
  • Electromyogram
  • Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)

Best Options for Herniated Discs

Chiropractic treatment may be a better choice than invasive surgeries thanks to the following reasons:

  • The procedures are noninvasive
  • Chiropractic care is more affordable than surgery
  • Chiropractic care is the more natural and conservative healing approach
  • Chiropractors can customize care to suit the patient

woman sitting up in a bed holding her lower back because she needs a chiropractor for a herniated disc

Herniated Disc Chiropractor

Chiropractic sessions are some of the best non-invasive treatments for a herniated disc. A chiropractor uses an array of techniques, like flexion-distraction, to readjust the spine and relieve symptoms. In most cases, chiropractic intervention can provide extended relief from a herniated disc, especially when rehabilitation and exercises are included with the care. The doctors at Chiropractic Works also specialize in non-surgical spinal decompression, which may be an option for those who may not experience relief from traditional chiropractic adjustments.

Herniated Discs VS Bulging Discs

These two conditions are often lumped together, but they are very different types of disc injury. Here are the key distinctions:
A herniated disc is caused by a ruptured annulus, while a bulging disc is caused by a sagging annulus.
Symptom onset from a bulging disc is gradual, while symptom onset from a herniated disc can be acute or sudden.
A herniated disc can result from a bulging disc, but a bulging disc cannot result from a herniated one.
Bulging discs can happen to several discs at once, while a herniated disc usually happens to only one.
Many people use the term "slipped disc" when referring to either a bulging or herniated disc, which is not a condition.

Choose Chiropractic Care for a Herniated Disc

Issues with the spinal cord or spinal nerves are varied, whether it’s a herniated disc, or bulging disc. While there are many ways to approach their treatment, chiropractic care for a herniated disc is arguably one of the best options. This approach uses more conservative efforts and practices, involving natural methods and no drugs.

Perhaps chiropractic care’s biggest advantage is that it’s non-invasive, so it’s generally safer than other medical treatment. It also addresses the source of the herniated disc injury instead of just the symptoms. The result is most often long-lasting relief without the need for medication or surgery.

When looking for the best chiropractic experts in Watkinsville, GA, turn to Chiropractic Works. We use holistic and clinically-proven approaches to various issues, offering herniated disc treatment, and bulging disc treatments to qualified patients. With our personalized care and expert team, you’ll be on your way to recovery in no time. Learn about our approaches by watching these videos. You can also contact us to request an appointment or learn more information.


herniated disc chiropractor

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Chiropractors offer a variety of non-invasive treatments that heal disc injuries and alleviate symptoms of herniated discs and bulging discs.

The way we sleep can affect the vertebrae, ligaments, and tendons. When we sleep on our stomachs, this causes more pain in these areas, which is worsened by a herniated disc.

In general, a herniated disc can sometimes symptomatically improve on its own in six months or so, however this does not mean that the health of the disc has necessarily improved or that you may not ever need intervention down the road. For this reason it is a good idea to use conservative methods like chiropractic care early on so that you have the best opportunity for lasting results that are easier to manage as we move through life. Milder herniated disc cases can sometimes improve in as little as four to six weeks. However, chiropractic care can also help speed this up.

There are many activities that can worsen your herniated disc and its symptoms. Avoid strenuous exercises, sitting too much, quick movements, and long periods of physically demanding work.

The most common indicator of a healing disc is relief from pain and discomfort combined with the ability to return to normal daily activities without exacerbating symptoms. Feelings of numbness or tingling will also start going away along with any other radiating symptoms.

Once a disc ruptures, there’s little to be done to bring it back to its original anatomical state. However,  symptoms can be easily managed long term with regular structural care along with diligent homecare and lifestyle habits, and you can often return to your normal life once everything has settled.

Start Your Recovery Today!

Our chiropractic team is ready to meet with you to discuss your needs. We will help to design a program that is right for you. We look forward to meeting you.

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