Physical Therapy for Disc Problems at Monmouth County Rehabilitation

Physical Therapy and Spinal Decompression Traction offer relief for the symptoms of bulged and herniated discs.

The discs of the spine are designed to act as a cushion between the vertebrae (bones of the spine). They consist of an outer shell, the annulus fibrosus, which surrounds and covers the nucleus pulposus, the inner, gel-like portion of the disc. These intervertebral discs allow for comfortable movement of the vertebrae and act as a ligament to hold the spine together.

Symptoms and Causes of Disc Problems

When any sort of disorder occurs in the discs, a number of symptoms can be experienced. Pain is caused when inflammation compresses the nerves that exit from the spine. Nerve endings in the discs can also send pain signals to the brain. Other nerve-related symptoms of disc problems include numbness in the lower extremities, muscle weakness, or bowel/bladder dysfunction (usually caused by compression of the sciatic nerve).

A disc bulge occurs when the outer, protective shell of the disc ruptures and the inner, soft portion bulges out. A disc herniation is diagnosed when this center nucleus bulges out and moves backward toward the spinal cord. Cases of disc desiccation—in which the disc is severely injured and fragmented—often require surgery.

Disc problems are usually the result of one of two factors: disc degeneration or injury and trauma to the spine. Degeneration is a part of the aging process in which the disc becomes less flexible and more vulnerable to damage. Trauma or injury can happen suddenly—as in the case of auto accidents—or over time as the result of poor posture.

Physical Therapy for Disc Problems

Physical therapy is used to relieve pain and restore movement and flexibility. In the past, patients with disc problems were advised to rest and avoid activity. Today, a program of physical therapy that includes both passive and active treatments is an effective way to treat the pain related to disc problems and help prevent future injury.

Passive physical therapy for disc problems might include ice and heat therapy, ultrasound, electrotherapy, and/or low level laser therapy. Active therapy might include exercise programs designed specifically to minimize the pain of bulged or herniated discs. As pain dissipates, exercises to build core strength and stability may be used to improve the overall health of the spine and to avoid further injury.

Disc Problems and Spinal Decompression

As noted above, the pain of herniated or bulged discs is related to compression of the nerves. Non-surgical Spinal Decompression for disc problems works by removing the pressure on the nerve by specifically targeting the problematic disc. This relieves pain and, in some cases, creates a vacuum effect in which the herniation itself is reduced. In other words, decompression traction creates negative pressure within in the disc, creating a vacuum that draws the bulging disc material (nucleus pulposus) back into the disc’s outer shell (annulus fibrosus). This process helps the stretched or torn annulus fibrosus to heal.

Spinal Decompression addresses both the cause and symptoms of disc problems without surgery or drugs.

Physical Therapy and Spinal Decompression for Disc Problems at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation

Our multi-disciplinary facility offers a full range of therapeutic options for disc problems, including non-surgical medical care, chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical therapy. To learn more about treatment for disc problems at our Monmouth County pain management and Rehabilitation, contact our office in Red Bank, NJ.