Can chiropractic help disc injuries? The research says yes! One study concluded that conservative care including spinal manipulation resulted in excellent to good results for disc herniations.
Cranbourne North chiropractor Dr Shaun Beovich has been dealing with disc bulges and herniations for 24 years. He says that disc degeneration is a normal part of ageing process however at times these discs can become “hot” ie they start irritating their adjacent spinal nerves often resulting in back pain and leg pain (sciatica).
This study found that over 90% with MRI confirmed disc herniation with pain became better or much better with chiropractic care. Within 2 weeks 55% had significant improvement.
They stated that with patients suffering from back pain and leg pain (sciatica) and confirmed with MRI, improvement was described as “good” or “excellent” in nearly 90% of patients.
Also that improvements were maintained on follow-up after 14mths with 80% describing excellent/good improvement.
Here’s the study:
A Nonsurgical Approach to the Management of Patients With Lumbar Radiculopathy Secondary to Herniated Disk: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study With Follow-Up
This study presents the outcomes of patients with lumbar radiculopathy secondary to disk herniation treated after a diagnosis-based clinical decision rule.
A prospective observational cohort study was conducted at a multidisciplinary, integrated clinic that includes chiropractic and physical therapy health care services. Data on 49 consecutive patients were collected at baseline, at the end of conservative, nonsurgical treatment and a mean of 14.5 months after cessation of treatment. Disability was measured using the Bournemouth Disability Questionnaire (BDQ) and pain using the Numerical Rating Scale for pain. Fear beliefs were measured with the Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ). Patients also self-rated improvement.
Mean duration of complaint was 60.5 weeks. Mean self-rated improvement at the end of treatment was 77.5%. Improvement was described as “good” or “excellent” in nearly 90% of patients. Mean percentage improvement on the BDQ was 60.4%. Numerical Rating Scale improved 4.1 points and FABQ improved 4.8 points. Clinically meaningful improvements in pain and disability were seen in 79% and 70% of patients, respectively. Mean number of visits was 13.2. After an average long-term follow-up of 14.5 months, mean self-rated improvement was 81.1%. “Good” or “excellent” improvement was reported by 80% of patients. Mean percentage improvement in BDQ was 67.4%. Numerical Rating Scale improved 4.2 points and FABQ 4.5 points. Clinically meaningful improvements in pain and disability were seen in 79% and 73% of patients, respectively.
Management based on the decision rule yielded favorable outcomes in this cohort study. Improvement appeared to be maintained over the long term.
Other studies to look at:
Outcomes from Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Confirmed Symptomatic Cervical Disk Herniation Patients Treated with High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude Spinal Manipulative Therapy. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. October 2013
Outcomes of Acute and Chronic Patients with MRI Confirmed Symptomatic Lumbar Disc Herniations Receiving High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude, Spinal Manipulative Therapy: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study with One Year Follow-Up. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Volume 37, Number 3. March/April 2014
Manipulation or Microdiskectomy for Sciatica? A Prospective Randomized Clinical Study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Volume 33, Number 8. October 2010
Symptomatic MRI-Confirmed Lumbar Disk Herniation Patients: A Comparative Effectiveness Prospective Observational Study of 2 Age- and Sex-Matched Cohorts Treated with Either High-Velocity, Low Amplitude Spinal Manipulative Therapy or Imaging-Guided Lumbar Nerve Root Injections. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2013 May; 36(4):218-25