Thank you for joining me again this evening for these nightly podcasts. I do hope you find them enjoyable. My name is Dr. Harrison Campbell primary chiropractor at Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office. In tonights podcast we will be discussing the importance of receiving proper care for lumbar disc herniations.
Recently I had a patient who has suffered from a lumbar or low back disc herniation for approximately ten years. As any sugar land chiropractors could tell you, lumbar disc herniations worsen as time passes, which as you can imagine has created quit a problem for this particular patient. To provide a brief overview of the history, this patient was lifting furniture and as he put it through his back out. This is often how people will describe an injury to the intervertebral disc in the low back. Any moving on. Following the injury this patient rested and did no seek proper medical care for the injury. As more time passed the overall pain decreased initially but the injury has persisted to bother him as his activity level increases.
For these past ten years the symptoms have progressively worsened and the frequency of the reoccurrence of pain has become constant. This has come about due to the tissue, in this case the intervertebral discs, has not healed properly resulting in constant reinjury to the tissue. As sugar land chiropractors can tell you for any soft tissue injury it takes approximately one full year for the tissue to fully heal. This means that the tissue will approach the level as close to the original uninjured tissue as it will get. What is done during this year will determine the strength and functionality of this healing tissue.
For this patient, without proper care in the beginning the tissue healed as best it could but was neither strong nor flexible enough to be functional tissue. This has enabled the injury to persist and progressively worsen over the years. To this extent the patient has presented to my office with severe radiating pain down into his foot, numbness and tingling into the same foot, and muscle weakness. There is also the difficulty with mobility, standing for longer than five minutes produces excruciating pain, sitting for still for longer than five minutes also produces severe pain. The patient reports to sleeping infrequently due to the pain. Relationships have suffered, and other body areas are starting to become affected as he compensates for this problem which continues to grow in his low back.
Now sugar land chiropractors can tell you a patient with these symptoms presenting to an orthopedic doctor would be recommended surgery to alleviate the problems. Those of you who know the Restoration Health way will understand we use surgery only as a last resort. We first try the conservative approach. Therefore we have created a treatment plan to decrease his pain and reduce the inflammation in the area as best we can as quickly as we can.
Spinal decompression is a good starting point for disc injuries, and this is one of the main treatments at this point in time. We are using passive modalities or therapies to help reduce the muscle guarding and reduce the inflammation being produced from the disc herniation. The next steps taken will include core strengthening exercises which sugar land chiropractors are very fond of. We understand the importance of the lumbar spine and any opportunity we can use to strengthen this area of the body we take.
The exercises for the core will start off with the basics. First and foremost we will have the patient use the proper musculature. For the core strengthening we focus primarily on the transverse abdominus muscle. As sugar land chiropractors can tell you this muscle functions similar to a lifting belt for the body. Once we have the patient activating the correct muscle we will make this more complicated by incorporating additional movements or steps.
First we need the patient being able to breath while activating this transverse abdominus. This is the most difficult part I have found with strengthening the core. Breathing is always the step which patientís forger the most. Most sugar land chiropractors will agree with this being the step which patients perform incorrectly the most. Holding the breath when they focus on keeping the core tight.
Once they can correctly activate the transverse abdominus and breath while doing so we add upper and lower extremity movement into the equation. This adds that extra layer of complexity for the brain because remember the ultimate goal is to have the patients transverse abdominus be tight and protecting the back without conscious effort. We want the patient to be able to bend down and grab something while keeping the core tight without having to think about tightening the core prior to bending down.
Once the patient can coordinate the upper and lower extremity movements while minting a tight core and still remembering to breath we progress to more total body exercises such as squats or lunges. At Restoration Health we prefer starting with squats as it seems to be a little easier of a transition. It addition squats is a close approximation of the bending and lifting motion when done properly. By having the patient practice the proper way to keep the core tight, breath, and squat we can simulate them bending and lifting an object. This is awesome because the goal of therapy is to return the patient to functional every day life and have the be able to avoid reinjury.
Thank you for joining us for this evenings podcast. I hope it was informative and you are able to take these points and have a healthier lifestyle as a result. As always should you or someone you know require the services of sugar land chiropractors please give Restoration Health a call today so we can get you scheduled. Thank you once again for joining and I hope to see you for tomorrows podcast. Have a good evening.