Back Pain Due to a Herniated Disc and Chiropractic Care

Author: Natalie Meiri, D.C.  Posted: 9/12/20

If you have back pain due to a herniated disc and chiropractic care is your choice, surgery may be avoided!  We’ve got some great information to share below.

What is a Herniated Disc?

The term ‘disc’ is short for ‘intervertebral disc’. The disc is essentially divided into two parts: (1) a central, softer jelly like inner nucleus pulposus and (2) an outer tougher, dense connective tissue (fibrocartilaginous) annulus fibrosus surrounding it. The discs separate the bones of the spine (vertebrae).

A herniated disc refers to a problem with one of the discs that sit between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack to make your spine. Sometimes called a slipped disc or a ruptured disc, a herniated disc occurs when some of the nucleus pulposus pushes out through a tear in the annulus fibrosus.  A herniated disc, which can occur in any part of the spine, can irritate a nearby nerve. 

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

Depending on where the herniated disc is, it can result in pain or weakness in an arm or leg. In the low back, you may have leg pain below the knee.   You often will have a painful restriction in moving often more on one side. 

In the neck, sometimes there is hand weakness and in the low back, leg weakness. In the mid back the pain may start around the level of the herniation and travel around the rib cage from the back to the front of the chest or upper abdomen. 

It can cause a deep ache or sharp, electric shock like pain or numbness.  Some patients report some relief with the hand held behind the head for neck herniations. Movements such as sneezing, laughing, coughing, or any other sudden movement can exacerbate the pain.

You can have a herniated disc without symptoms. You might not know you have it unless it shows up on a spinal image such as a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or CT (computerized tomography scan).

Causes of a Herniated Disc

A disc herniation is most often the result of a gradual, aging-related wear and tear called disc degeneration. As you age, your discs become less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing. However, a disc herniation can occur from a traumatic injury such as a fall or a car accident. Many people state it happened after a simple sudden twisting or bending movement. Repetitive strain over time with incorrect posture and motions, can eventually herniate a disc also. In the neck, it may cause neck and arm pain that came on after a minor injury or insidiously. There is usually a past history of multiple occurrences of the respective neck or back pain that resolved. 

Nerve root irritation may occur as a result of a disc herniation. In the past it was believed that all referred pain that was radicular (nerve root origin) was due to compression of a nerve root by a herniated nucleus pulposus.  Current thinking is that the nerve root is inflamed, but not always compressed. It is theorized that herniated disc material initiates an autoimmune inflammatory reaction or releases irritating substances. So the disc, the corresponding inflamed nerve root, or compression of the nerve root by the disc may be the source of pain.

If you have back pain due to a herniated disc and chiropractic care is your choice, surgery may be avoided.

Dr. Natalie Meiri will examine you and come up with a treatment plan to get you better. Through regular visits, you can get pain relief and improve your back health with chiropractic manipulative treatments without surgery.

“Softer” approaches involving “no rotation” chiropractic manipulative treatments such as flexion-distraction, blocking, and prone (patient face down) drop-table adjusting are available.  Meiri Chiropractic’s technique is to manipulate at sites other than the herniation. Our other therapies, such as soft tissue techniques, therapeutic exercise, electric muscle stimulation, ice/ heat therapies and homeopathic consultations, may also provide some relief for your pain. 

Call our office which serves West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens and North Palm Beach.  Ask about your neck or back pain due to a herniated disc and chiropractic care at 561-253-8984.


Meiri Chiropractic

5601 Corporate Way, Ste. 102

West Palm Beach, FL 33407