Herniated Disc Doctor in Omaha at Kosak Chiropractic
At Kosak Chiropractic and Acupuncture, we provide non-surgical treatment for disc herniation—also known as a herniated disc, slipped disc and ruptured disc—using a range of therapies and techniques to alleviate your pain and get you back to a full and active life.
Read about herniated disc (disc herniation of the spine) symptoms and our chiropractic & acupuncture treatment options at our Omaha clinic.
What is a Herniated Disc?
Discs made of tough, gelatinous tissue separate spinal vertebrae to prevent bones from grinding against each other. In addition to stabilizing the spine, these discs also facilitate spinal flexibility and absorb shock when you lift heavy items, run or jump.
Without healthy intervertebral discs supporting your spine, you could not bend, twist or otherwise use your spine without experiencing extreme pain and stiffness.
When intervertebral discs deteriorate due to age, overuse or injury (disc degeneration), the exterior of a disc may become weak and allow the gel-interior of the disc to bulge outward and press against spinal nerves. Unless treated by a herniated disc specialist, damaged discs often develop into herniated (slipped) discs, or discs that have split open and leaked fluid. This compromises the thickness of the disc and permits vertebrae to scrape against the vertebrae below or above it.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
Since the majority of herniated discs occur in the lumbar (lower) region of the back, low back pain and stiffness are initial symptoms of a possible herniated disc. Other signs of a slipped disc include:
- Intense leg pain radiating into your calf, thigh, buttocks also known as sciatica. In severe cases, herniated disc pain can travel to the foot. Sneezing or coughing may increase leg pain due to extra pressure placed on the herniated disc
- Numbness, tingling and burning sensations in body areas innervated by nerves compressed by a herniated disc
- Muscle weakness involving nerves impacted by slipped discs. Weakened back and leg muscles could make it hard to walk without feeling unstable or interfere with the ability to hold heavier items
Are You at Risk for Disc Degeneration and Herniated Discs?
Risk factors for needing a chiropractor to treat slipped discs due to disc degeneration are:
- Being male and over 30 (discs begin thinning and losing fluids as you age)
- Having a physically demanding job/improperly lifting heavier objects
- Repetitive pulling, twisting, bending and lifting heavy objects
- Being overweight
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Smoking (reduces oxygen supplies to your disc tissues)
Be aware you do not have to fall under these risk factors to be diagnosed with a herniated disc. In some cases, a chiropractor may diagnose disc degeneration in active, younger nonsmokers due to an unknown genetic disorder or underlying condition contributing to disc herniation.
How Does Our Omaha Chiropractor Diagnose a Herniated Disc?
Chronic back pain that does not respond to traditional treatments should be evaluated by a chiropractor as soon as possible to help avoid rupture of a slipped disc. Magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRIs), CT scans and x-rays can detect herniated discs in the spine.
Our Omaha chiropractor, Dr. Kosak, knows that it is important to diagnose issues with discs early and to not let them persist. If you find yourself asking, “do I have a herniated disc?,” then consider your risk factors and speak with your Chiropractor soon to determine your condition.
What Kinds of Chiropractic Treatments are Available for a Herniated Disc in Omaha?
Chiropractors use spinal adjustments to manually reestablish normal positioning of misaligned vertebrae. Realigning the spine removes pressure on herniated discs while also reducing nerve compression caused by bulging discs that compress nerves. Receiving regular adjustments further enhances disc health by promoting disc hydration and protecting the spine from progressive disc degeneration.
Contact Kosak Chiropractic and Acupuncture Today to Schedule an Appointment
In addition to providing a wide range of chiropractic techniques to treat a herniated disc, Dr. Kosak also offers pediatric care, chiropractic treatment for auto accident injuries and accepts workers compensation claims.
Dr. Kosak is known for his gentle applications of all chiropractic procedures to relieve neck pain, back pain, chronic migraines, and more. Walk-ins are welcome! Call (402) 964-0300 to learn more about herniated disc symptoms and treatment.
Herniated Disc FAQ
Do you experience shooting pain and tingling in an arm or leg? Are these symptoms worse when you bend down or pick something up? These are potential signs of a herniated disc, a common condition we treat at Kosak Chiropractic and Acupuncture in Omaha NE. It’s our pleasure to educate people about this condition and show them how our natural services can provide relief.
What is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc—sometimes inaccurately called a “slipped disc”—is a type of spinal disc injury. It is associated with a tear in the disc’s outer fibrous layer, through which the disc’s inner gel-like fluid leaks out and into the surrounding joint area.
Herniated discs can trigger inflammation and stimulate nearby pain sensors. They may also compress nearby spinal nerves as they exit the spinal column.
What are Common Causes of Disc Herniation?
A disc herniation often occurs due to acute trauma, such as a slip and fall or auto accident—anything that imposes a disc to abnormal mechanical strain. Alternatively, herniated discs can develop gradually over time.
You may be more likely to experience a herniated disc if you have certain risk factors:
- Are a male between the age of 30-50
- Sit a lot
- Have a weak core
- Perform repetitive bending and lifting, especially with poor body mechanics
- Are obese
- Have a family history
What are the Common Symptoms of A Herniated Disc?
Signs and symptoms of herniated discs can vary. If a disc is compressing a spinal nerve root, a person may experience numbness, pain, tingling, and weakness in the arm or leg supplied by that nerve. Usually, this happens only on one side of the body, but if a herniated disc is large enough it may impact the right and left side.
Additional signs and symptoms of a herniated disc include:
- Stiffness and muscle spasms in the spine
- Symptoms that get worse or move further down an arm or leg (peripheralizes) if a person bends forward
- Symptoms that get better or move up the arm or leg (centralizes) if a person leans backward
- Symptoms that are worse in the morning (because discs fill with fluid throughout the night, and are slightly bigger when we wake up)
It’s interesting to note that a person with a herniated disc sometimes has no signs or symptoms and may not realize anything is awry unless they get imaging studies done.
Are There Other Disc Disorders I Should be Aware Of?
Yes. These include:
- Degenerative disc disease: age-related thinning and degradation of a spinal disc (which naturally have limited innervation and blood supply)
- Bulging disc: the disc protrudes out of place but does not tear and rupture
- Discitis: infection of a vertebral disc, often due to bacteria or virus
How Does a Doctor Know if it is a Disc Herniation or Other Issue?
Diagnosing a herniated disc typically involves a thorough physical examination, imaging studies, and personal and medical history assessment. Other tests and measures may be done to rule out other conditions.
What are the Options for Herniated Disc Treatment?
Herniated disc treatment often includes physical therapy, chiropractic care, oral pain medication, topical pain medication (e.g., analgesic patches or gels), and acupuncture. In severe cases, a person may require anti-inflammatory injections or surgery. However, it’s generally agreed that conservative options should be explored and exhausted first before going with more invasive measures.
Additionally, people with herniated discs should use pain medication with care. Pain medications don’t address the underlying cause of the dysfunction, and instead only manage the symptoms—and sometimes not well! This is why chiropractic care can be so beneficial for herniated discs. It addresses the underlying cause of a person’s symptoms while simultaneously alleviating the symptoms themselves.
Is Chiropractic Care Safe for a Herniated Disc?
In the vast majority of cases, chiropractic care is both safe and effective for herniated disc treatment. The services we offer are non-invasive and drug-free, and come with little no risk of side effects. Our services—which include chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, corrective exercises, traction, and lifestyle counseling—fulfill the ultimate goal of any herniated disc treatment plan, which is to help the disc heal, relieve symptoms, and prevent the disc from re-injury.
While some people are not candidates for certain services, such as spinal adjustments (e.g., people with severe osteoporosis), we offer plenty of other therapies that can safely address their symptoms and disc health.
Are You Looking for a Herniated Disc Doctor Near You?
Do you live in or near Omaha NE and are struggling with pain and dysfunction? Dr. Kevin Kosak and staff can help you heal your condition and avoid recurring problems—for a healthier spine now and in the future. Call Kosak Chiropractic & Acupuncture at (402) 964-0300 to schedule an appointment.