A herniated disc occurs when the small gelatinous disc that lies between two vertebra shifts and begins to extend outside of the vertebra's bony ring. Also referred to as a bulging disc, it can be extremely painful and can limit a person's range of motion and mobility. This type of injury or condition often occurs after a traumatic event. Car accidents, slip and falls, improperly lifting techniques or an injury that is the result of being thrown onto the back or twisted into an unnatural position can all account for a disc sliding out of its original position. If the herniation is mild, the disc may move back into place on its own. If it is severe, treatment may be needed to help it return to its original position.
Decompression therapy works by gradually separating the vertebra of the spine and giving the small, gelatin-like disc, the freedom to move back into its original position. The separation of the vertebra creates a type of vacuum that draws the disc back into position. The relief that this type of procedure provides can be long lasting if the muscles and soft tissues in the area can provide the additional support the spinal column needs to remain in the correct position. Deep tissue massage and physical therapy can be included in the treatment plan to help improve and maintain physical strength while the area continues to heal.
Physical therapy can help the area heal once the herniation is created. Decompression therapy can be used to help correct the herniation and then physical therapy can be added to help strengthen the tissues in the area. If the herniation is severe, more than one decompression therapy may be needed. By starting physical therapy after the very first session, the tissues will be allowed to regain their strength as the structure of the spine is gradually restored. The combination of these two treatment methods restores the function while the form is being corrected. This will make the healing process go much faster and will make for a more complete healing.
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