60 Second Bad Discs

60 Second Bad Discs

Many people with low back pain have been told that a bulging disc was shown on their MRI and that the disc was the reason that they had back pain. They were then scheduled for an epidural injection or even surgery.

In an article written by JC Smith, MA. DC, the subject of protruding (or “bad”) discs being the source of back pain was questioned. Studies done in 1990 and 1994 found there were disc bulges present in people who were symptom-free. This meant that a bulging disc is not necessarily the reason for a person’s back pain.

In 1994, a comprehensive study of low back pain was conducted by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, a division of the US Public Health Agency. They stated that surgery has been found to be helpful in only 1 out of 100 cases of low back problems. In some cases, surgery can cause even more problems and increase the chance of future procedures and higher complication rates.

Most cases of low back pain are due to mechanical problems that are easily resolved with chiropractic care. Getting the joints to move correctly is the beginning of a pain-free back.

Studies have shown the best approach for low back pain is chiropractic care. When someone has back pain they should be examined and if necessary, imaging studies would be done. A course of treatment would be started and monitored for effectiveness. There should be improvements within the first 30 days of care.

One of the most effective treatments for low back disc conditions and mechanical problems is flexion-distraction. One lies face down on a treatment bench that bends at the waist thus opening up the disc space. The person is then “flexed” a certain amount by the doctor in order to help the disc bulge shrink.

Dr. Thorburn is a Registered Nurse and a Doctor of Chiropractic. She also has advanced training in nutrition. Take advantage of her 46 years of experience!

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