Older and elderly individuals have an increased risk of developing a herniated disc/s. The age of the intervertebral discs/cushions causes deflation, drying out, and shifting, making it easier for discs to herniate. Muscle mass also reduces/lessens with age; specifically, the muscles parallel to the spinal column are responsible for stability. When the spine loses strength, the risk of injuries like slips and falls can damage the spine and the rest of the body. Herniated disc decompression will keep the vertebral cushions healthy, functioning, and properly aligned.
Symptoms of Disc Herniation
A herniated disc bulge or tear/s will press on the spinal nerves causing discomfort that can range from mild to severe pain and can last for weeks to months. The symptoms of disc herniation vary and depend on the injury angle, how much of the disc ruptured and if it is touching or has leaked out on the nerve roots. The most common symptoms include:
- Restricted hip and waist flexion.
- Continuous back pain that radiates.
- Sciatica symptoms
- Back muscles contract/spasm
- The pain can worsen by sudden body movements caused by coughing, sneezing, or hiccups.
- Numbness in the affected area
- Numbness or tingling in the leg or foot
- Decreased knee or ankle reflexes
- Bladder or bowel function changes like difficulty moving waste through the colon or large intestine.
Herniated Disc Decompression
Nonsurgical herniated disc decompression therapy can help heal the herniation by:
- Stretching the spine to the total capacity.
- Removing the pressure.
- Pulls the herniated disc back into its correct position.
- Fills the injured/damaged areas and the rest of the spine with blood, oxygen, nutrients, and lubricating fluids.
- Helping to rebuild joint and muscle strength.
- Increasing flexibility in the muscles that support the affected area of the spine.
The therapy duration depends on the herniation, injury, and damage severity. The objective is to bring significant improvement that will last.
Chiropractic, Physical/Massage Therapy, and Health Coaching
A chiropractor and physical massage therapy team will develop a personalized herniated disc decompression treatment plan with specific goals. The therapy will include:
- Mechanical decompression.
- Manual chiropractic adjustments.
- Massage sessions.
- Health coaching.
- Exercises and stretches will be given that will help maintain pressure relief and flexibility.
- Core stabilization exercises will strengthen and stabilize the spine and muscles.
- Aerobic conditioning will help increase endurance.
Back Surgery Warning
Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression El Paso, Texas
Carla Vanti, PT, MSc, OMPT, Alice Panizzolo, PT, OMPT, Luca Turone, PT, OMPT, Andrew A Guccione, PT, Ph.D., DPT, FAPTA, Francesco Saverio Violante, MD, Paolo Pillastrini, PT, MSc, Lucia Bertozzi, PT, MSc, Effectiveness of Mechanical Traction for Lumbar Radiculopathy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Physical Therapy, Volume 101, Issue 3, March 2021, pzaa231, https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzaa231
Dydyk AM, Ngnitewe Massa R, Mesfin FB. Disc Herniation. [Updated 2022 Jan 18]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441822/
Maistrelli, G L et al. “Lumbar disc herniation in the elderly.” Spine vol. 12,1 (1987): 63-6. doi:10.1097/00007632-198701000-00012
Suri, Pradeep, et al. “Nonsurgical treatment of lumbar disk herniation: are outcomes different in older adults?.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society vol. 59,3 (2011): 423-9. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03316.x
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