Dear Dr. Frankville.
I have suffered with bulging discs for the last four years off and on. My doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication for me, which helps but I get tired of taking it every day and it's expensive. Do Chiropractors work on disc problems?
-- Wanda from Greencastle
Not doubting that your back hurts, but, many people are misdiagnosed with bulging discs. I have had a lot of patients come through my door who were told that they had bulging discs by their doctor, but no MRI was ever obtained and the diagnosis was never verified.
Bulging discs don't come and go over years. They get sore and stay sore for quite a long time and require more than anti-inflammatory drugs to resolve.
Back pain that comes and goes, even if severe, is usually associated with the small joints on the sides of the vertebrae called facets.
Facet syndromes come and go and can be so severe that they render you immobile and nearly bent in half! If you did have an MRI that validated the diagnosis I still have interesting news for you. Bulging discs with care resolve.
When a disc is stressed by whatever means and they become inflamed they bulge slightly due to swelling caused by the inflammation. If they have been irritated to the point of inflammation frequently, eventually they will herniate and you can form a bulge that compresses spinal nerves or even the spinal cord depending on the location of the bulge. With appropriate care even these bulges resolve over time. Once the bulge resolves scar tissue in the form of fibrous tissue is left behind sort of like a patch to reinforce the previously weak spot. You would be more likely to re-injure the same disc in a different spot causing the pain to migrate to another location.
People who work in jobs that put the spine through repetitive daily stress that develop disc bulges are prone to chronic disc bulges, but they experience the pain all the time. Chiropractors treat these patients all the time. They usually respond very well to treatment.
We also usually give our patients home exercises that help them strengthen their core muscles which consist of the back and abdominal muscles which help corset the spine and take stress off of the discs.
My best advice, pick up the phone and make an appointment. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how much chiropractic can do for you. Thank you for your questions and remember,
If you have questions about your health or the care you think you need please write me at AskDrFrankville@Yahoo.com or for regular mail write to The Brazil Times Attn: Ask Dr. Frankville
Wishing you the very best in health,
Dr. Richard Frankville