Friday, July 3, 2015

Disc Herniation's

What can be done to help with a Disc Herniation?

A recent research study reviewed records from 1,450 patients in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation database who had diagnoses of disc degeneration, disc herniation or radiculopathy, a nerve condition that causes tingling and weakness of the limbs. Half of the patients had surgery to fuse two or more vertebrae in hopes of curing low back pain. The other half had no surgery, even though they had comparable diagnoses.

After two years, just 26 percent of those who had surgery had actually returned to work. That’s compared to 67 percent of patients who didn’t have surgery. In what might be the most troubling study finding, researchers determined that there was a 41 percent increase in the use of painkillers, specifically opiates, in those who had surgery.

“The study  provides clear evidence that for many patients, fusion surgeries designed to alleviate pain from degenerating discs don’t work”, says the study’s lead author Dr. Trang Nguyen, a researcher at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

So if surgery is not that effective for correcting a Disc Herniation what are some of the alternatives?
·         Medications- such as NSAIDs, pain killers, and muscle relaxers.

·         Injections-Steroid injections into the back in the area of the herniated disk may help control pain for several months. Such injections reduce swelling around the disk.

·         Non Surgical Spinal Decompression and Life Style Modification.
Medications and Injections definitely have their place in treating musculoskeletal conditions such as Disc Herniation’s because they can reduce soft tissue swelling around the Disc.  They can also give relief to patients in which the pain is unbearable.  The problem is this only masks the pain and without any outside correction will lead to further injury.  This is why at my practice for this condition I recommend Non Surgical Spinal Decompression along with life style modification (losing weight, exercising, proper ergonomics etc.)

What is Spinal Decompression you ask?  Decompression is a form of therapy that relieves pressure that builds up on the discs and nerves. The task of relieving pain comes about as a result of drawing areas of herniated disc back into place.

Decompression achieves this by creating negative pressure within the disc, referred to as negative intra-discal pressure. This creates essentially a vacuum to draw the bulging and herniated disc material back into the disc space and relieves pressure.  As the ligaments that hold disc material in place become stretched or torn due to bulging and herniation, decompression strengthens the ligament bands that hold the disc material in place to heal & prevent future recurrence.  The Decompression Table is computerized and the procedure is relatively pain free with many patients falling asleep due to the relief they feel during the procedure.

In most cases the healing process requires only a few weeks of treatment on an out-patient basis. Patients come to us to return to a normal pain free life.  While no treatment is full proof and Disc Herniation’s can take months or even years to heal.  Spinal Decompression offers patients a better non-invasive alternative from traditional surgery to correct  Disc Herniation’s.

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