PA Chiropractic

Disc Problems

What Are Spinal Disc Problems?

Spinal discs are rubbery pads between the vertebrae. Only a person who has experienced a damaged spinal disc understands the agony and helplessness it brings. The pain can be excruciating. Every movement seems to make it worse. This pain is a warning signal that you should heed. If you take appropriate action, the discomfort usually stops, and the problem can be corrected.

Understanding Spinal Disc Problems — Herniated Disc

Under stress, a disc’s inner material may swell, pushing through its tough outer membrane. The entire disc can become distorted or bulge. With an injury, all or part of the inner material may protrude through the outer casing at a weak spot, pressing against surrounding nerves. If further activity or injury causes the membrane to rupture or tear, the disc material may further extrude, causing pressure on the spinal cord or the nerves that radiate from it. This may result in extreme pain. In the beginning, there may be spasms in the back or neck which will greatly limit your movement. If nerves are affected, you may develop pain that moves into a leg or an arm.

The Research

Almost 50 years of research, experience and technology have contributed to the development and evolution of specific conservative treatment for disc disease. One of the leading pioneers is Dr. James Cox, a leading researcher and well renown physician. To this day chiropractors, engineers and researchers continue to document its benefits. The latest findings of a federally funded research project at the National University of Health Sciences, Palmer Research Center, and Loyola Stritch School of Medicine/Hines VA show that Cox technique allows for safe and natural increase in disc height and nerve spacing. Dr. Tucker was fortunate enough to train and certify in this technique with Dr. Cox directly.

Research articles include success with radiating pain, hip pain, sciatic nerve damage, cyst related pain, testicular pain and more. MRI pre and post treatment has revealed reduction in disc herniation size (JMPT, Vol. 19, no 9).

According to another research project (Johnson, Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1981) less than 5% of patients with low back and leg pain require surgery. Making this treatment option a successful and more importantly, safe initial treatment option.

In another randomized, clinical trial funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, patients with radiating pain did significantly better with flexion/distraction technique.  Overall, this treatment provided more pain relief than active exercise. (European Spine Journal 2006:15)

In addition to a multitude of research, many of the individual case studies we have in our clinic continue to provide daily successes.  Cases that are considered “surgical candidates” improve and reach full resolution.

 The Adjustment Technique

Patients with disc disease are treated more conservatively than other less involved cases.  The treatment we utilize at Tucker Chiropractic Center implements a form of disc distraction that separates the compressive pressure that causes most disc bulges/herniations.  “Some patients are heard saying, Oh, I wish someone could just pull me apart! The technique does just that and much more in a safe, controlled manner.  This technique is a gentle, non-force procedure which aids the spine in healing properly and to ensure a pain free future.  Cox Flexion/Distraction technique is the well documented, researched, proven effective, non-surgical technique for decompressing spinal nerves and treating low back pain.  During a treatment on this instrument, you will lie on your stomach (or on your side if you are in acute pain, and the device can adapt for pregnant patients) while the doctor maneuvers your spine to relieve spine nerve pressure. ”  Other technique options are also utilized to assist the patient to achieve optimal outcomes.  They will vary based on an individual basis.  Some other techniques, may include ART, drop technique, nueromechanical instruments, trigger point treatments and other various therapies.

Treatment Science for Spinal Disc Problems

Specific Chiropractic techniques can re-absorb some or all of the bulging disc material. Dr. Tucker is certified in a post-gradual technique that is safe and gentle, which is geared to treat disc problems without drugs, injections or surgery. Cox Flexion-Distraction and Decompression is a non-surgical, doctor-controlled, hands-on specially designed chiropractic technique. This instrument permits the effective administration of flexion-distraction and decompression adjustment and manipulation.
Well researched and documented, flexion-distraction and decompression helps relieve spinal pain and return patients to their desired quality of life by …

  • dropping intradiscal pressure to as low as -192mm Hg
  • widening the spinal canal foraminal area by 28%
  • reducing pressure on the spinal nerves
  • returning motion to the spinal joints

The goal of Cox Technic is to help the spinal pain patient go from “pain” to “no pain” as quickly as possible following the “rule of 50%” which governs the Cox Technic System of Spinal Pain Management.

Evidence based Cox Technic is appropriate for conditions causing low back and leg pain as well as neck and arm pain. It also reduces pain attributable to …

  • disc herniation
  • a slipped disc
  • a ruptured disc
  • facet syndrome
  • stenosis
  • spondylolisthesis
  • other conditions