Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Do I Have a Herniated Disc?

No one who has ever had a herniated disc would confuse it with a pleasant experience. The pain is outrageous, the disability can stop you dead in your tracks and overall, it can just make you miserable. But back pain comes in many forms, and really, none of them are a picnic. What’s more, treatment for a herniated disc will often diverge from that of other back-related problems. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that it’s important to know what’s wrong with you so you can move forward with the right treatment. So how do you know? What are the signs? I’ll cover that in some small way here; however, it’s important to note that this is in no way intended to be a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. If you are in pain, call us at Living Well Medical. With that said, let’s move on.

If you are familiar enough with the term ‘herniated disc’ chances are you know a little about how the back works, but just in case you don’t, we’ll start there.

Three of the major structures in the spine are the bones, discs and nerves. The bones are the basic support structures, the discs are the shock absorbers and the nerves carry messages and information throughout the body, to and from the brain. In a herniated disc, one of these shock absorbers can’t perform its function because it has burst open and spilled the contents of its nucleus which provides much of the shock reduction. Sometimes, that herniated material will push against the nerves. That in turn can cause a number of severe symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and burning sensations. So if you are experiencing problems in the lower back or legs like these, you may have a disc herniation.

That said, the only 100% accurate way to know if you have a herniated disc is through medical imaging like an MRI. X-ray studies can also help rule out other serious spinal conditions like spondylolisthesis, but that's for another post entirely. Nerve tests like electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies are also able to point out nerve irregularities. The main point is that only a doctor can tell you what the situation is.

If you are in pain, call our NYC office us at 212-645-8151. We can and enjoy helping people like you reclaim your life from pain like a herniated disc.

- Dr. Shoshany, NYC Chiropractor

Is spinal Decompression Therapy Right for You?

Every day we have patients come in to the office at Living Well New York, complaining of back pain, leg pain and numbness, as well as tingling in the leg. Patients often ask if their symptoms are the result of problems with inter vertebral discs, and if non surgical spinal decompression can work for them.

How can you tell if you're a candidate for Non Surgical Spinal Decompression:

If you suffer form chronic or severe back pain which is caused by bulging, herniated, or degenerative discs, sciatica, or facet syndrome.

If you have been told that you are a candidate for surgery.

If you have had a failed back surgery, or have failed back surgery syndrome.

How can you tell is you are not a candidate for Non Surgical Spinal Decompression:
If you have any retained surgical components such as fusion cages or titanium rods,

If you have a clinically unstable back.

If you have spinal infections or abdominal, or pelvic Cancer.

You have recently fractured vertebrae.

If you suffer from Osteoporosis

If you have ankylosing spondylitis.

If you have an abdominal aortic aneurysm.


How long until you feel results:

Many patients notice reduced pain after their first few treatments, and may even feel that the course of their treatment is complete, but this is only the start of the healing process, and stopping treatments early can result in remission, and symptoms can reoccur. Some patients may take several treatments to feel relief because their physiology may be different, and everyone if different so the healing times do reflect this.

Non surgical spinal decompression works:

Patients suffering from herniated and degenerated discs report immediate pain reduction, and even with one treatment, the bulging pulposus may be completely or partially retracted back in to the disc. However it is normal for long term pain relief to take longer.

Consistency is the key to results:
Like with most injuries, tearing in the walls of the disc require time to heal properly. Pain relief doesn't mean that the injury has healed. The disc needs time to seal up properly, and it is crucial to continue treatment to make sure that the newly retracted discs do not herniate again quickly.

Living Well Medical focuses on a non invasive multidisciplinary approach to healing and pain management. If you are in the New York City area, and are suffering from back pain visit us at our treatment center on 632 Broadway, located in the heart of Manhattan, or call us at: 347 562 2144