Can A Chiropractor Fix A Herniated Disc Or Make It Worse? (2022)

    What Is a Herniated Disc?

    When you jump, run, or move from side to side, you have discs that work as a cushion to support your upper and lower back. Otherwise, these complex movements wouldn’t be possible.

    Put, without those discs, your spine couldn’t function the way it does, and humans couldn’t transport themselves the way they do.

    Perhaps you have heard the term “slipped disc.” It is not a scientific term, but it’s used to describe the spine’s bulging, rupturing, or herniation. The correct medical term is “herniated disc,” which we will subsequently use in this article.

    So, what exactly happens when one suffers from a herniated disc?

    First, we must fully understand the constituent parts of the vertebrae above.

    The composition comes from two components:

    1. the annulus fibrosus, which is the tough outer layer of the disc, and
    2. a soft, gelatine center, called the nucleus pulposus.

    The outer layer of the discs prevents the nucleus pulposus from pushing out.

    If the annulus fibrosus becomes damaged, and the center becomes compressed due to physical activity, it can exude, causing herniated discs or even painful nerve damage to patients. People involved in motorcycle crashes, car collisions, or any other vehicle accident often suffer from bulging discs.

    Lifting heavy materials incorrectly, as well as intense contact sports, can also influence your disc health and cause issues to occur.

    (Video) Herniated disc "slipped disc" - A chiropractors view.

    Can A Chiropractor Make a Herniated Disc Worse?

    The pain caused due to a bulging disc can reach horrible, crippling, or even life-threatening degrees.

    Chiropractic care is a well-known method of managing this discomfort and healing herniated discs, among other lumbar injuries, using spinal manipulation.

    While some people are skeptical or even mistrustful of chiropractic, it is a safe and efficacious method of treatment to relieve pain, recommended by many medical experts.

    Many symptoms can derive from herniated discs but are not limited to the following:

    • Stiffness
    • Back and neck pain
    • Low back discomfort
    • Tingling sensations in the fingers
    • Spinal tenderness.

    When people face these symptoms, many have the desire to treat them with medication. While it can reduce back pain, it is also a temporary solution that treats symptoms rather than the source of the problem.

    Additionally, a patient who uses many pain killers is at the risk of harmful side effects that could worsen their physical health, including the development of addictions.

    The goal of chiropractic treatment is to address the source of the issue and relieve your pain once and for all. This healing method helps treat various types of spinal cord injuries, including herniated discs, spine damages, and neck stiffness.

    Even though many people consider chiropractic treatment alternative medicine, various lines of research show that it is a very effective treatment that can reduce back pain and help with issues such as herniated discs, bulging, neck pain, low back discomfort, etc.

    If your medical doctor recommends surgery for a herniated disc, first check if some alternative techniques could help you. Reach out to a physical therapist or check options for chiropractic treatment, which is less invasive than surgery.

    (Video) Can a Chiropractor Fix a Disc Herniation?

    Should a Chiropractor Adjust a Bulging Disc?

    Chiropractic treatment can assist you with the intense soreness associated with the bulging of vertebral discs. Thanks to spinal manipulation, these experts can lessen back pain and address the provenance of the issue.

    Before they start performing the manipulation of the spine, a chiropractor is going to ask you some questions that allow them to make treatment even more effective.

    A chiropractor can verify if your nerve sends information to your spine adequately. Before carrying out any type of spinal manipulation, they can run some tests and assessments, for example, X-Ray or MRI.

    In the course of a chiropractic session, a chiropractor checks all the factors associated with your issue to create a plan of action for you. They review the entire spinal area to verify what the problem could be.

    The synapses, which determine the functioning of the whole human organism, including muscle movement in the arms and legs, muscle tension, and more, require examinations that can influence your recovery period.

    Physical exams and a review of your lifestyle and previous health problem allow a chiropractic specialist to adjust chiropractic care to your needs. Suppose they verify that a bulging disc is a problem.

    In that case, they can use physical manipulation in the affected area and other parts of your body, such as the neck, an affected muscle, or legs, to reduce the pain.

    Is Chiropractic for Everyone?

    Even though chiropractic care is a tremendous and noninvasive solution for back pain, not all patients can enjoy its benefits. For example, immediate medical care might be necessary for sufferers of cauda equina syndrome, which often accompanies spinal cord damage.

    Sometimes, chiropractic manipulation might not be enough when you suffer from disc problems, and your chiropractor can send you to the spine surgeon.


    After running an X-Ray or MRI, that usually happens when a chiropractor notices that the problem with your disc is more severe than expected. They can also recommend other professional care when they see the loss of reflexes, strength, sensation, or other worrying neurological symptoms.

    Research shows that a chiropractor can successfully treat most herniated disc injuries.

    How Can a Chiropractor Prepare a Treatment Plan?

    Each patient needs a treatment plan that can best fit their needs. When you suffer from a herniated disc and contact a chiropractor, you can expect an individual plan to ease the symptoms of a herniated disc and aggrandize the quality of your life.

    Chiropractic sessions can include spinal manipulation and other techniques that can help to treat your entire vertebral column. You can be sure that any of the used methods are not invasive, which means that within hours or even minutes, you can feel disc pain relief.

    Always feel free to ask your chiropractor about their opinion on what treatment can bring the best results for you.

    If you research information about this type of treatment, you might find some articles that state that a chiropractor pops a disc back into place using force. This is entirely simply inaccurate and untrue.

    However, during your visit to the chiropractor’s office, you might hear some popping sounds. This gaseous material is released under the pressure of a chiropractor’s hands as they manually adjust your spinal column.

    Chiropractors are professionals that can help to aggrandize the quality of your life by fixing your herniated discs. Having said this, you need to remember that there is no instant solution for your bulging disc, no matter how intense it is.

    They generally use gentle low-force techniques to help you subtly. Sometimes one visit might not be enough, and you’re probably going to need a few weeks to get better.

    (Video) Is Chiro safe for herniated discs?

    Can Chiropractic Adjustments Make You Worse?

    If you suffer from a herniated disc, you know that any slight movement can cause tremendous pain and aggravate the problem. Some people have a misconception regarding chiropractic solutions. According to this misconception, chiropractors cannot treat the problem but rather worsen the situation.

    That is not the case. Research shows that chiropractic sessions are an excellent solution for treating herniated discs. Additionally, chiropractors are experts in the field and know how to care for your spinal health after any spinal aberration.

    Chiropractic care is a precise and scientific method, and chiropractors have vast knowledge about nerve functions, spinal disc problems, etc.

    Is It Normal to Have Worse Pain After Chiropractic Care of Herniated discs?

    In the wake of a few chiropractic sessions, you can feel mild discomfort, which happens because you have to adjust to the new normal of proper spinal alignment. Your organism needs to activate muscles to support your body healthily, leading to the feeling of aching or soreness in muscles and joints in the spinal area.

    You can compare the feeling after a chiropractic session to the experience after working out. Your muscles stretch, and your body discovers new ways to use them. Stiffness in your neck muscles can appear as you need to adjust to a new, proper posture.

    A visit to a chiropractic office can also cause temporary discomfort in your spine. Some people report that they feel tingling during a chiropractic session, while others feel tired after spinal manipulation.

    Remember that not all people react to chiropractic adjustments this way: some people can feel immediate spine pain relief, while others can continue to suffer for long periods of time. If you suffer from painful conditions, this holistic approach to the body can be a good solution.

    Are You Ready to Say Farewell to Your Pain?

    Contact an empathetic Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorney. If you got injured, whether in an accident, while lifting heavy materials at your workplace, or in any other situation, you should seek chiropractor care.

    If it is a personal injury situation, you might also need the help of an experienced and aggressive Los Angeles spine injury attorney.

    (Video) Herniated Disc in the Neck Chiropractic Treatment – The Dangers

    Reach out to Michael Ehline, who can offer you superior legal services. As a person who was medically discharged from the US Marines, he is conscious of the pain and suffering you are facing. Our company offers the best legal services in California, and we can handle all abstract laws while you can focus on recovering.

    We promise to fight for what’s yours with an insurance company or even in court. We have won more than $150 million in compensation for our clients. You can schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney online, or you can call us at (213) 596-9642 and receive the best possible help. Unleash our aggressive spine injury lawyer and win your claim.

    Personal Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles proudly serving the following Los Angeles zip codes: 90001 / 90002 / 90003 / 90004 / 90005 / 90006 / 90007 / 90008 / 90009 / 90010 / 90011 / 90012 / 90013 / 90014 / 90015 / 90016 / 90017 / 90018 / 90019 / 90020 / 90021 / 90023 / 90024 / 90025 / 90026 / 90027 / 90028 / 90029 / 90030 / 90031 / 90032 / 90033 / 90034 / 90035 / 90036 / 90037 / 90038 / 90039 / 90041 / 90042 / 90043 / 90044 / 90045 / 90046 / 90047 / 90048 / 90049 / 90050 / 90051 / 90053 / 90054 / 90055 / 90056 / 90057 / 90058 / 90059 / 90060 / 90061 / 90062 / 90063 / 90064 / 90065 / 90066 / 90067 / 90068 / 90069 / 90070 / 90071 / 90072 / 90073 / 90074 / 90075 / 90076 / 90077 / 90078 / 90079 / 90080 / 90081 / 90082 / 90083 / 90084 / 90086 / 90087 / 90088 / 90089 / 90090 / 90093 / 90094 / 90095 / 90099 / 90189 / 90210 / 90211 / 90213 / 90230 / 90232 / 90247 / 90248 / 90272 / 90290 / 90291 / 90292 / 90293 / 90294 / 90295 / 90296 / 90402 / 90501 / 90502 / 90710 / 90717 / 90731 / 90732 / 90734 / 90744 / 90748 / 90810 / 90813 / 91040 / 91041 / 91042 / 91043 / 91214 / 91225 / 91303 / 91304 / 91305 / 91306 / 91307 / 91308 / 91309 / 91311 / 91313 / 91316 / 91324 / 91325 / 91326 / 91327 / 91328 / 91329 / 91330 / 91331 / 91333 / 91334 / 91335 / 91337 / 91340 / 91342 / 91343 / 91344 / 91345 / 91346 / 91352 / 91353 / 91356 / 91357 / 91364 / 91365 / 91367 / 91371 / 91388 / 91393 / 91394 / 91395 / 91396 / 91399 / 91401 / 91402 / 91403 / 91404 / 91405 / 91406 / 91407 / 91408 / 91409 / 91410 / 91411 / 91412 / 91413 / 91416 / 91423 / 91426 / 91436 / 91470 / 91482 / 91495 / 91496 / 91497 / 91499 / 91504 / 91521 / 91522 / 91601 / 91602 / 91603 / 91604 / 91605 / 91606 / 91607 / 91608 / 91609 / 91610 / 91611 / 91612 / 91614 / 91615 / 91616 / 91617 / 91618


    Can chiropractor make herniated disc worse? ›

    Serious complications associated with chiropractic adjustment are overall rare, but may include: A herniated disk or a worsening of an existing disk herniation. Compression of nerves in the lower spinal column.

    Should you get adjusted if you have herniated disc? ›

    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 to help ease your herniated disc symptoms.

    Can herniated disk be fixed by chiropractor? ›

    Nine out of ten individuals with a herniated disc can heal their condition through non-invasive procedures. If you want to explore conservative options for recovery, chiropractic care is an excellent place to start. A chiropractor can help you heal naturally and relieve your pain.

    Can I make my herniated disc worse? ›

    The pain from a herniated disc usually is worse when you are active and gets better when you are resting. Coughing, sneezing, sitting, driving, and bending forward may make the pain worse. The pain gets worse when you make these movements because there is more pressure on the nerve.

    How long does a herniated disc take to heal with a chiropractor? ›

    It will depend on the severity of the issues as well as whether or not the chiropractor has found additional problems. Typically, a disc protrusion can take up to three months to repair. In most cases, you may be seeing your chiropractor longer than that.

    What is the fastest way to heal a herniated disc? ›

    Treatment with rest, pain medication, spinal injections, and physical therapy is the first step to recovery. Most people improve in 6 weeks and return to normal activity. If symptoms continue, surgery may be recommended.

    What shouldn't you do if you have a herniated disc? ›

    A person with a disc herniation should avoid heavy lifting, sudden pressure on the back, or repetitive strenuous activities during recovery. People should avoid all exercises that cause pain or feel as though they are making the pain worse.

    Can you push a herniated disc back into place? ›

    In theory the disc should be able to be popped back into its natural state, but it is very difficult to just “pop” a herniated disc back into place like a displaced gear. In fact, trying to pop a disc back into place can make the issue worse if the person doing the “popping” doesn't know what they are doing.

    What you shouldn't do with a herniated disc? ›

    Skip movements that involve significant axial loading on the lower back, such as squats and leg presses. Avoid toe-touches, sit-ups, and yoga poses that worsen the pain and lead to significant bending of the back.

    Do herniated discs ever truly heal? ›

    Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer as to whether your disc herniation will fully heal. With treatment, a disc herniation can dry up, shrink or go away. Your body may have an autoimmune response and aid in healing the herniation.

    Do herniated discs ever completely heal? ›

    Sokunbi notes, “and sometimes don't have the ability to heal completely.” Most often, herniated discs in healthy patients heal quickly. However, nerve compression bad enough to cause radiculopathy—pain radiating down the nerve to an arm or leg—may take longer to get better, says Dr. Butler.

    How can I permanently heal a herniated disc? ›

    Surgery is a last resort to treat a herniated disc when manual therapy and IDD Therapy have not brought about change. When the pain is so severe and unresolved, or if the nerve pain is causing weakness in the leg, then surgery can be carried out to remove the part of the disc pushing on the nerve.

    Will I ever be the same after a herniated disc? ›

    The good news is that in most cases — 90% of the time — pain caused by a herniated disc will go away on its own within six months. Initially, your doctor will likely recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever and limit activities that cause pain or discomfort.

    What causes herniated disc to flare up? ›

    In addition to natural wear and tear, other factors that can contribute to a bulging disc include repetitive movements, strenuous lifting, twisting of the body, bone spurs pushing against the disc, and many other degenerative conditions.

    What makes a herniated disc severe? ›

    Discs that become herniated usually are in an early stage of degeneration. The spinal canal has limited space, which is inadequate for the spinal nerve and the displaced herniated disc fragment. Due to this displacement, the disc presses on spinal nerves, often producing pain, which may be severe.

    Can chiropractor fix L4 and L5? ›

    Chiropractic adjustment of the lumbar spine may help relieve pain stemming from the L4-L5 motion segment.

    Can L4-L5 disc bulge be cured? ›

    Regardless of the cause, an L4-L5 spinal segment is treatable without surgery or injection. The key to recovery is accurate diagnosis followed by corrective treatments that focus on the problem's root cause.

    What are the symptoms of L5 nerve damage? ›

    A pinched L5 nerve root usually results in radiating pain in the foot. This pain can come in the form of numbness, tingling, weakness and shooting and is commonly felt in the big toe, inside of the foot, top of the foot and ankle. Radiculopathy of the L5 nerve may also cause loss of coordination in the foot and toes.

    Can you rub out a herniated disc? ›

    Deep Tissue Massage: There are more than 100 types of massage, but deep tissue massage is an ideal option if you have a herniated disc because it uses a great deal of pressure to relieve deep muscle tension and spasms, which develop to prevent muscle motion at the affected area.

    What is the best muscle relaxer for herniated disc? ›

    What is the best medication for a herniated disc?
    Best medications for a herniated disc
    Soma (carisoprodol)Muscle relaxant3-4 times per day as needed
    Skelaxin (metaxalone)Muscle relaxant3-4 times per day as needed
    CorticosteroidEpidural steroid injectionOnce, or once per week for several weeks
    5 more rows
    5 Oct 2020

    How long does it take for a severe herniated disc to heal? ›

    The average amount of time it takes for a herniated disk to heal is four to six weeks, but it can get better within a few days depending on how severe the herniation was and where it occurred. The biggest factor in healing a herniated disk is time, because most often it will resolve on its own.

    When is surgery needed for herniated disc? ›

    Your doctor might recommend surgery as an option for your herniated disc if: Your symptoms have lasted at least 6 weeks and make it hard to do your normal activities, and other treatments haven't helped. You need to get better quickly because of your job or to get back to your other activities as soon as possible.

    Which is worse bulging or herniated disk? ›

    Compared with a bulging disk, a herniated disk is more likely to cause pain because it generally protrudes farther and is more likely to irritate nerve roots. The irritation can be from compression of the nerve or, much more commonly, the herniation causes a painful inflammation of the nerve root.

    Is a tens machine good for herniated disc? ›

    TENS is an electrical stimulation unit that can aid with the muscle spasm and pain associated with a slipped disk.

    Can stretching make herniated disc worse? ›

    One of the best treatments for the symptoms of a herniated disc is stretching exercises. By gently stretching the muscles in the back, their flexibility is improved, helping them stabilize the disc herniation area. Overall endurance and circulation are also improved with herniated disc exercises, and symptoms improve.

    What activities worsen herniated disc? ›

    Any kind of strenuous activity is bound to worsen the symptoms associated with your herniated disc. Even stretches are too dangerous to attempt, as they put too much pressure and movement on your spine.
    This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Sit-ups and pull-ups.
    • Running and jogging.
    • Jumping rope.
    • Squats.
    • Yoga and stretching.

    Is a herniated disc a lifetime problem? ›

    In cases where a herniated disc has been untreated for too long, this type of damage can be permanent. Patients may also permanently lose feeling in their legs and lower back.

    How permanent is a herniated disc? ›

    Most of the time, pain associated with a herniated disc goes away on its own over a period of weeks or months and does not cause permanent damage to the spine or nerves. A herniated disc can occur in any part of the spine, but it is most common in the lower back (the lumbar spine) and the neck (the cervical spine).

    What percentage of herniated discs require surgery? ›

    According to research cited by Harvard Health, about 10 percent of patients with herniated disc issues require surgery after six weeks. Similar research suggests that 90 percent of the time, surgery is not necessary for a herniated disc.

    What are the symptoms of L4 L5 nerve damage? ›

    What Are The Symptoms of L4-L5 Damage?
    • Sharp pain that begins in the lower back and moves down the leg.
    • Weakness in the leg with motion.
    • Numbness in the leg, foot, and/or toes.
    • Tingling and/or pins-and-needles sensation along the sciatic nerve.
    6 Oct 2022

    Can an MRI show a healed herniated disc? ›

    An MRI scan can also show evidence of previous injuries that may have healed and other details in the spine that can't normally be seen on an x-ray. Myelogram: This special x-ray uses dye, which is injected into the spinal fluid. This can identify a ruptured disc.

    What is the most serious complication of a herniated disk? ›

    The most serious complication from a herniated disc is the development of the cauda equina syndrome. This results when a very large fragment of disc material is ruptured into the spinal canal in the area where the nerves that control the bowels and bladder travel before they leave the spine.

    Which is worse herniated disc or sciatica? ›

    What difference does it make if it's sciatica or a herniated disc? First off, sciatica, for the most part, is very curable and with proper treatment, patients return to normal in fairly short order. However, herniated discs are often a permanent condition which can affect every area of your life.

    What can irritate a herniated disc? ›

    Everyday Activities to Avoid with Herniated Disc
    • Sitting too much. Sitting puts more stress on your spinal discs, especially when slouching forward in a seat. ...
    • Doing laundry. ...
    • Vacuuming. ...
    • Feeding a pet. ...
    • Strenuous exercise. ...
    • Shoveling snow or gardening. ...
    • Learn more:

    Why does my back feel worse after chiropractor? ›

    When you get an adjustment, your vertebrae are being moved slightly. Your muscles have to adapt to the movement of the bone, so they may end up lengthening or shortening slightly, which can lead to soreness. The soreness is related to the movement of the bones and not to the pressure utilized by the chiropractor.

    Can chiropractor make back pain worse? ›

    Just like with health and strengthening exercises, chiropractic adjustments with your back pain chiropractor can cause you to experience soreness in your back as you heal.

    What is a severely herniated disc? ›

    A herniated disk is a condition that can occur anywhere along the spine, but most often occurs in the lower back. It is sometimes called a bulging, protruding, or ruptured disk. It is one of the most common causes of lower back pain, as well as leg pain, or sciatica.

    What are the symptoms of L5 S1 nerve damage? ›

    Common Symptoms and Signs Stemming from L5-S1
    • Pain, generally felt as a sharp, shooting, and/or searing feeling in the buttock, thigh, leg, foot, and/or toes.
    • Numbness in the foot and/or toes.
    • Weakness in the leg and/or foot muscles and an inability to lift the foot off the floor (foot drop)

    Is L4-L5 disc bulge serious? ›

    An L4-L5 disc bulge or slip-disc (slipped disc) pinches and leads to serious health issues, including impotence, reproduction issues, infertility, loss of bowel and bladder control, or paralysis in one or both legs.

    Can a chiropractic adjustment make you worse? ›

    It May Get Worse Before it Gets Better

    Visiting the chiropractor for a new pain often means instant relief during your adjustment. But it's not unusual to notice soreness a few hours after your appointment, and it may be even worse than the pain that had you calling the chiropractor in the first place!

    Who should not go to a chiropractor? ›

    Patients with herniated or slipped discs and those with arthritis may need advice from specialist physicians before seeing a chiropractor. If there is a physical abnormality or injury in your body, such as a fracture, chiropractic care may not be for you.

    What are the disadvantages of chiropractic therapy? ›

    • Spinal and joint manipulation has a chance to go wrong and may cause unwanted fractures or injuries. So it is important that you only have an appointment with an experienced chiropractor.
    • The cost of treatment can be quite high.
    • Some insurance companies do not have coverage for chiropractic care.
    28 Feb 2011

    Can a chiropractor make sciatica worse? ›

    Chiropractic care is an ideal treatment modality for sciatica because it can directly address the root cause of the problem, and thereby both treat the cause and alleviate the symptoms.

    Why do chiropractors want you to keep coming back? ›

    Changing your posture, changing your spine's ability to move, changing your muscle health and structure take time. Months in fact. All muscles have memory and your body wants to go back to its old patterns instead of creating new healthy ones. That is why adjustments need to be repeated again and again.

    When should you stop chiropractic treatment? ›

    In general, it is advised to discontinue chiropractic care if any of the following is true:
    1. Increased pain. It is not uncommon to note mild discomfort after the initial manipulation treatment for the first 24 to 48 hours (similar to starting a new exercise). ...
    2. No improvement within 2 to 4 weeks. ...
    3. Symptoms have gone away.


    1. Can A Chiropractor Fix A Bulging Disc?
    (Herniated Disc In Neck)
    2. Can A Disc Bulge Get Worse? Can Herniated Disc Get Worse? How Bad Can A Herniated Disc Get?
    (Dr. Walter Salubro)
    3. Can Herniated Discs Heal on Their Own?
    (Performance Place Sports Care & Chiropractic)
    4. Herniated disc pain saved from surgery FIXED by Dr Suh Gonstead Chiropractor
    (Specific Chiropractic)
    5. Four Ways To Avoid Surgery For Your Herniated Cervical Disc
    (Dr. Neubardt & Dr. Stern ---The Neuro-Ortho Team---)
    6. How to Relieve a Lower Back Bulging Disc in 30 SECONDS
    (SpineCare Decompression and Chiropractic Center)

    Top Articles

    You might also like

    Latest Posts

    Article information

    Author: Lakeisha Bayer VM

    Last Updated: 11/25/2022

    Views: 6069

    Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

    Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Lakeisha Bayer VM

    Birthday: 1997-10-17

    Address: Suite 835 34136 Adrian Mountains, Floydton, UT 81036

    Phone: +3571527672278

    Job: Manufacturing Agent

    Hobby: Skimboarding, Photography, Roller skating, Knife making, Paintball, Embroidery, Gunsmithing

    Introduction: My name is Lakeisha Bayer VM, I am a brainy, kind, enchanting, healthy, lovely, clean, witty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.