Chiropractic care for disc injuries will vary according to the degree and nature of the problem. A type of traction known as flexion-distraction may be useful - this is performed using a special table, but similar procedures can be used by hand. Carefully performed spinal adjustments have been shown to be very useful. Various soft tissue techniques and mobilization may also help.
Because recovery time for disc injuries is usually longer than for problems limited to the muscles and joints, patients need to be active in their recovery to ensure best results.
In the initial acute stage it is important to avoid lifting, bending, twisting or prolonged sitting. Lying on the back with knees bent (with feet flat on the ground or resting on a chair) can often produce relief.
Gentle walking, if tolerated, may provide relief and encourage healing. Sometimes short periods of bed rest are useful, but too much rest can make the situation worse. When possible, it is better to err on the side of gentle activity.
Simple exercises may also be useful in the early stages. These include:
- Cat Curl - Set yourself up in the all 4’s position. Slowly arch the spine up like a cat stretching and at the same time curl head and tailbone in. don’t push too far, as there may be some pain with this movement. Hold for a few seconds. Gently move the opposite way with the low back sagging down and the head and tailbone pushed upwards.
- Spinal Roll - Lie on your back with knees bent and feet together flat on the floor. Slowly move the knees to one side as far as you comfortably can, keeping your shoulders flat on the floor. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Low Back Extension - Lie on your stomach with your elbows on the floor under your chest. Breathe slowly and allow your stomach and back muscles to relax as you gently arch your chest upwards.
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