Friday, June 18, 2010

Severe Back Pain & Herniated Discs

As far as frustrating problems that no one wants to go through as they get older, severe and chronic back pain is definitely up there on the list.

Herniated discs tend to be one of the more devastating conditions that are associated with back pain. Anyone who has ever suffered with pain related to nerve root compression and disc herniation will tell you the pain can be completely debilitating, literally forcing you to stop everything you do. It can just flat out take control. You can't work, you can't play, you can't sit and you can't stand without some kind of pain. It's a nightmare.

For anyone that doesn't know, a herniated disc occurs when the outer band of the disc (called the annulus) develops a tear, often due to trauma or wear and tear, and the cushioning center of the disc (the nucleus) spills out, often pressing against and irritating the spinal nerves nearby.

It used to be that herniated discs had very limited support in the way of non-surgical treatment alternatives, but those days are long gone. Today, practices that specialize in non-invasive, non-surgical approaches like mine in NYC, Living Well Medical, have a wide array of treatments to choose from, and in my case, we often use several in conjunction, depending on the needs of the patient who is in pain.

Specifically, non-surgical spinal decompression with the DRX9000 has made treatment without the fears of surgery a possibility for many of my patients. Spinal decompression is an exciting development that is fairly new on the scene as a back pain treatment. By stretching the spine very gently and precisely, discs that are causing nerve compression find their internal pressure reduced. Valuable fluids and nutrients can be pulled into the disc, and over time, herniated or bulging discs can start the process of repairing themselves which relieves pain.

Combining spinal decompression with physical therapy has helped us lower the possibility of re-injury by strengthening the muscles that support the spine. We have also successfully integrated other treatments like Active Release Technique and chiropractic adjustment into treatment programs for the better results. But in the end, it all depends on the condition of your back and what it needs to get better.

If you have severe back pain, give our front office in Manhattan's beautiful SoHo neighborhood a call at 212-594-8151. The surgeon's knife isn't the only option for a herniated disc, so see how we can give you an alternative that works.

- Dr. Shoshany, NYC Chiropractor

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