health & beauty | pain relief

By dr. john conde

Non-Surgical Approach

To A Herniated Disc

The medical phrase “herniated disc” is widely used to describe injury to

the spine. It refers to the incidence of derangement within the spinal

column in which there is injury to the spongy cushions (discs) between

the individual bones (vertebrae). Herniated discs are most common

when a person is in their thirties of forties however it can affect any age

group especially when the aging population is active.

It is most notably associated with the lumbar region (lower

back) but can also affect the cervical region (neck) and

thoracic (mid back) region with less prevalence.

Quite often herniated discs in the lumbar region will

produce sciatica (leg pain) and in the cervical region

will produce arm pain. Dysesthesias (numbness

and tingling) in the arms and legs are also

associated with lesions involving the spinal discs.

The disc itself lies between two adjacent vertebrae

and is composed of a hard outer shell called

the annulus and a gelatinous substance on

the inside called the nucleus. The nucleus

provides key structural support elements

for the spine as it acts as a “shock

absorber” for the spine so that the vertebrae

do not touch each other. The

cushion also creates a space between

the vertebrae so that the spinal nerves

can exit unharmed. However, the nucleus

also contains certain chemical irritants such

as tumor necrosis factor-alpha which can be

toxic for nerves. Therefore it is of paramount

importance that it remains within its shell. The

annulus acts as the outer shell or barrier and is a

resilient tissue made up of fibrocartilage.

A herniated disc occurs when fissures (tears)

form in the annulus or outer shell which allows

for the nucleus to escape and get into dangerously

close contact with the spinal nerves. The most offensive

posture for the lumbar disc is sitting. This

provides the greatest load on the disc and increases

probability of herniation. Therefore sedentary

lifestyles and jobs requiring prolonged

sitting are deleterious for the discs. Other activities

such as bending and twisting are also very

damaging to the discs especially if repetitive. Lastly, acute events

such as lifting something very heavy without proper support can

injure the spinal discs.

The “gold standard” for conservative, non-invasive treatment

of disc herniations is non-surgical spinal decompression

therapy. This treatment acts to create a negative pressure

or vacuum within the spinal canal essentially retracting

some of the disc material back into the annulus and away

from the sensitive spinal nerves. In fact the pressure within

the disc can get to minus 150 mm/HG. The most recent

clinical study of 219 patients has showed

that spinal decompression therapy

provided an immediate resolution

of symptoms for 86% of

the participants while 84%

remained pain free 90

days post-treatment. In

combination with a revolutionary

modality termed

class IV highpower laser

therapy which accelerates tissue

healing by tenfold through

“kick-starting” the cellular machinery

in the injured tissue, the outcomes

are even more staggering. Core strengthening

specifically designed for a disc herniation

(which differs from other lumbar spine injuries)

should not be ignored and should be a

part of any protocol for injured discs.

The Conde Center For

Chiropractic Neurology

401 West Atlantic Avenue, Suite #014

Delray Beach, FL 33444



62 | FEBRuary 2018 | www.AtlanticAveMagazine.com

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