Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Slipped Disc? (What is it, the research, and how can I fix it?)

What is it?

        Slipped disc?  Herniated disc?  Ruptured disc?  These are just a few of the confusing terms associated with the injured spinal discs.  The disc is a small gelatinous mass situated between the spinal bones.  The disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine.  When healthy, discs allow normal turning and bending.  With an injured disc, patients can find themselves unable to move freely and suffering moderate to severe low back and/or leg pain.

What the current research says...

        Chiropractors have enjoyed a long history of successfully treating disc injuries.  A study was published in the prestigious Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics regarding the manipulative treatment of disc herniations.  This study examined 27 patients who had a documented disc herniation on Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) that corresponded with clinical findings.  The patients were treated using manipulation, physical therapy modalities, and exercise.  Treatment time ranged from 8 weeks to 6 months.  Following symptomatic and clinical resolution, a repeat MRI was performed.

        The study found that 22 of 27 (81.5%) had good clinical outcomes; 17 of 22 (77%) had not only good clinical outcome but also evidence of reduced or resolved disc herniation upon repeat MRI scanning.  Five patients (18.5%) had a marginal or poor outcome, but none had worse clinical signs or pain ratings at the end of the study.  At the beginning of the study, all 27 patients had left work because of the severity of pain; at follow-up 21 were back to work at their former occupations.

Thatcher Chiropractic is located at 3535 American Drive in Colorado Springs, Colorado 80917 near the intersection at Austin Bluffs Parkway and Academy Boulevard.  For more information you can visit our website at and if you have additional questions or wish to schedule an appointment with us, please feel free to contact us by phone at (719) 574-3700.

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