Herniated Discs: Is Chiropractic Care an Option?

Dealing with a herniated disc is painful, sometimes even debilitating

And you’ve had enough. You’re searching for treatment that will relieve your symptoms and get you back to living pain free. Now, you’re curious, 

“Can I go to a chiropractor for a herniated disc?”

The answer:


Chiropractic care is considered one of the most preferred treatment methods for lower back pain, and herniated discs are a common cause of lower back pain.

Keep reading to learn how a chiropractor can help with a herniated disc, ways they treat herniated discs, and more.

Table of Contents

Can a Chiropractor Help With a Herniated Disc?

Yes! Many potential clients don’t realize that dealing with a herniated disc doesn’t always mean that surgery is required — based on certain conditions, a chiropractor may be able to help with a herniated disc. 

Before your chiropractor can begin treatment, or begin creating a treatment plan, two things must happen: 

  1. A diagnosis has to be established 
  2. Based on the diagnosis, it must be determined if you’re a good candidate for chiropractic care

2 Things Chiropractors Consider Before Providing Treatment

#1: Confirm the Diagnosis

The first step with any patient involves a full health assessment. During this assessment, your chiropractor will determine:

  • Whether the symptoms are stemming from a herniated disc
  • If there are additional unaddressed problems, or 
  • Any hidden injuries — especially if you have recently been in a car accident, for example.  

Your chiropractor will likely go through a series of questions about your medical history, do a full physical examination, and perform tests to get a clear picture of your nerve function, reflexes, even muscle tone around the herniated disc. 

If you haven’t already had imaging done in the area of concern, your chiropractor may order images to confirm if there is a herniated disc in the location where you are experiencing the discomfort.

#2: Determine if the Patient Is a Good Candidate for Chiropractic Care

After your diagnosis has been confirmed — whether you in fact have a herniated disc and whether it is located in your neck or back — your chiropractor can determine whether or not chiropractic care is the best route for you to take. 

At Cascade Spine and Injury Center, we believe that conservative care (if appropriate) should always come before more invasive measures like surgery. 

An example of when conservative care may not be the first option is if you have a herniated disc in your lower back pinching a nerve. If this disc is causing weakness in one of your legs, or even complete loss of function, we would want to refer you to a surgeon to avoid any permanent damage. 

In other circumstances, where the herniated disc may not be causing weakness, but pain or discomfort, our chiropractors are ready to help! 

We’ll look at things like …  

  • The biomechanics above and below the herniated disc
  • Your core strength; and
  • Various functional patterns

… to help find the best treatment plan for your unique case. 

How Will a Chiropractor Help a Herniated Disc?

Many patients prefer chiropractic care for herniated discs to avoid invasive treatments, injections, or drugs to reduce the pain and inflammation. 

Your chiropractor may take several different approaches to decrease the pain and inflammation associated with a herniated disc by: 

  • Chiropractic adjustments 
  • Progressive exercise programs
  • Addressing biomechanics
  • And more 

Chiropractic Care Can Erase Your Symptoms and Pain Even if Your Herniated Disc Remains

It’s important to note that chiropractic care can ease — or completely erase — the symptoms and pain associated with a herniated disc, even if the disc doesn’t reabsorb into the body. 

What do we mean?

A patient may go for a follow-up MRI six months after their chiropractic treatment. 

Although the herniation may still appear on the MRI, the patient feels significantly better and has carried on symptom-free for several months. They may continue to go symptom-free even if the herniation never reabsorbs. 

Now that we’ve established that going to a chiropractor for a herniated disc can be extremely beneficial, let’s look at the different ways chiropractors treat disc herniations. 

3 Ways Chiropractors Treat Disc Herniation

#1: Addressing the Biomechanics Above and Below the Herniated Disc

Posture, and the way you move your body, can play a major role in creating and mitigating herniated disc symptoms. 

Are you someone who slouches when you sit or stand? 

Slouching often causes spinal ligaments to stretch beyond their limits, putting additional strain on the discs of your spine, increasing the risk, or symptoms, of a herniated disc. 

When dealing with a herniated disc, your chiropractor will not only address things such as … 

  • Posture
  • Learning how to move your body properly/safely, and
  • Addressing any biomechanics below and above the herniated disc

to improve those mechanics, decrease inflammation, and improve the function of the discs around the herniation. 

The number one goal is to rid the area of inflammation, in turn, reducing (if not eliminating) symptoms.

#2: Incorporating Spinal Adjustments into a Treatment Plan

Chiropractic adjustments are one of the most common ways chiropractors help those suffering from symptoms associated with a herniated disc.

By incorporating spinal adjustments, and treating the area around the herniated disc, your chiropractor may be able to open up joints of the spine. This  reduces the pressure and inflammation on the disc in hopes that the herniation reabsorbs back into the body as it should. 

Examples of different types of spinal adjustments might include: 

  • Spinal decompression techniques — also known as a flexion-distraction, this technique allows chiropractors to manipulate the disc back into position or into an area that isn’t affecting the nerve. This can help alleviate inflammation, reduce pain, and alleviate other symptoms like numbness, sciatica, etc. 
  • Pelvic blocking techniques — another common technique, depending on where the herniation is located, involves laying down on a table, and placing a wedge under the pelvis, changing your position, and providing your spine and discs with relief, while improving nerve function. 

#3: Incorporating Exercises into a Treatment Plan

To move the disc material in the right direction — away from any nerve it might be irritating — your chiropractor may recommend incorporating specific exercises into your treatment plan. 

These exercises are usually gentle, progressive exercises that not only move the disc material, but also strengthen weakened areas surrounding the discs, and decrease the inflammation in and around the discs. 

These exercises may vary based on the location of the herniation, but when mixed with chiropractic care, can be one of the most natural approaches to overcoming a herniated disc.

At Cascade Spine and Injury Center, we provide more than chiropractic care. Our office also offers physical rehabilitation services so that our patients can receive the best and most efficient care for disc herniations.

Should You Go to a Chiropractor if You Have a Herniated Disc?

Absolutely! Going to the chiropractor for a herniated disc comes with a host of benefits, like: 

  • Reducing pain
  • Improving mobility
  • Non-invasive treatment
  • Lack of a need for pain medication
  • Reducing the risk of a herniated disc in the future through education
  • And more

When Should You See a Chiropractor for a Herniated Disc?

If you are concerned about a herniated disc, don’t wait to seek treatment. The sooner your chiropractor can assess your symptoms and help you come up with a treatment plan for your unique situation, the less chance you have of:

  • Scar tissue forming
  • Permanent damage
  • Increased inflammation

Instead, the sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can get back to living pain-free.

Find Relief From Your Disc Herniation Today at Cascade Spine & Injury Center

Stop searching for relief — Cascade Spine & Injury Center, a multidisciplinary clinic focusing on treating those who have been injured in everyday situations, including:

  • Motor vehicle accidents — such as auto, motorcycle, or bicycle 
  • Work injuries; and
  • Sports injuries

… is here to help you get relief today. 

Our facility not only offers chiropractic care, but  … 

  • Rehabilitation services
  • Acupuncture; and
  • Massage therapy

… all in the same facility. We believe in making it as convenient and efficient as possible to get the care that you deserve. 

We don’t stop at providing holistic treatment. We also collaborate with other alternative and medical professionals to coordinate the best and most accurate care, including:

  • Primary care physicians
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Neurologists
  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Psychiatrists
  • Mental health workers
  • Acupuncturists
  • Massage therapist; and
  • Physical therapists

If you’re seeking chiropractic care for a herniated disc, Cascade Spine & Injury can help.

We accept a variety of insurances, including: 

  • Auto Insurance/PIP/MedPay
  • Cigna
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • ChiroHealthUSA Discount Program
  • Providence
  • Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • And More

No insurance? Or maybe your insurance doesn’t cover chiropractic care? 

We’ll work with you to create an easy to manage payment plan to ensure you get the treatment you deserve. 

Contact Cascade Spine & Injury Center today to schedule a consultation today!

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