It’s a misconception that having a herniated disc automatically means you must have spinal surgery to fix it. Chiropractic treatment provides a conservative, non-surgical option for effectively relieving back pain and other symptoms caused by a disc herniation.

At your initial appointment, your chiropractor will go through your medical history, do a physical exam, and perform orthopedic and neurological tests to determine:

  • Are the reflexes intact?
  • Is there loss of muscle strength?
  • Is there loss of sensation along the path of a nerve?

He/she will also carefully look at your posture, and may order an X-ray or MRI, if necessary, to help with the diagnostic process.

To treat a herniated disc, your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan that may include spinal manipulation—also known as adjustments—and other chiropractic techniques such as manual therapy and therapeutic exercises to help ease your herniated disc symptoms.

Generally, you will need a series of treatments combined with other therapies such as ultrasound, muscle stimulation, physiotherapy, exercises and home treatments. Your chiropractor will monitor you throughout the treatment plan, and if your symptoms do not improve, may recommend you consult with a pain management specialist and/or a spine surgeon.

The specifics of what are in your treatment plan are particular to your pain, level of activity, overall health, and what your chiropractor thinks is best. As with any treatment option, don't hesitate to ask questions about what chiropractic treatments are being recommended and why. You want to make sure you understand what will be done and how it can help relieve your pain. However, chiropractic treatment is safe and effective for most patients.