FAQ- Is a good workout the same as having a chiropractic adjustment?
The demanding activities and tasks at the workplace and the lifting of heavy objects at home, causes pain in the back and neck region of the body, which if not treated appropriately, can result in serious disc injuries. Thoracic spine herniation is a medical condition, for which chiropractic offers effective treatment methods.
What Is Thoracic Disc Herniation?
Thoracic disc herniation is a type of disc injury in which the upper back region of the body is affected and a tingling pain permeates throughout the affected area. In some cases, the patient might feel pain in his chest and rib cage, which might be because of the pressure exerted on the nerves in the area.
The thoracic spine of the body consists of 12 vertebra, referred to by doctors as T1 to T12. The thoracic spine begins at the base of the neck, and continues until the end of the rib cage, where the T12 vertebra joins with the first vertebra of the lumbar region.
Thoracic disc herniation is a medical condition caused by the bulging or swelling of the pulpous and nerve material, located in the center of the disc. The material squeezes out of its narrow space and becomes exposed. The pressure exerted by the disc on the exposed nerves causes extreme pain to the individual which hampers him in engaging in different everyday activities.
Disc generation is also a probable cause of thoracic disc herniation, as the disc experiences wear and tear due to age and strenuous usage. This medical condition is more likely to develop in individuals who are in the 40 to 60 year age bracket.
Medical professionals conduct MRI scans in order to determine that there is no pressure and damage to the spinal cord because of the degeneration of the disc. In extreme cases, where the herniated disc exerts pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves, an individual can even suffer from a paralysis in the lower region of the body.
If the disc herniation is more to the side, it might cause pressure or impingement on the nerve root, causing pain in the abdomen and chest walls. In other cases, the pressure on the nerves might cause a combination of different symptoms ranging from upper back pain to tingling sensations all down the spine.
Chiropractic and Disc Injuries
Chiropractic offer non-invasive treatment methods for different spine, neck and disc injuries. They provide services for joint adjustment and relief from various musculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractic is gaining popularity for effective treatment of different painful muscle strains and disorders.
Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: the neck thing. ouch. no really…ouch! by Beth Punches
Spondylolysis is one of many conditions that chiropractic practices have to deal with. The condition occurs due to a weakness in the section of the vertebrae that is known as pas interaticularis. This is a thin piece of bone that is responsible for connecting the lower and upper portion of the facet joints. These join in the vertebrae’s upper and lower section to form a comprehensive network of bone that allows the spine to move.
The defect can lead to small fractures in the spine that cause certain vertebrae to slip out of place.
Some chiropractic practices say that Spondylolysis is a hereditary disease especially considering infants who are born with a thin vertebrae, a condition that puts them at a higher risk for fractures. Repetitive trauma to the lower back may also cause the pars interarticularis to weaken over time.
Those who have spondylolysis do not experience any symptoms and which is exactly why they might not be aware of it once it does occur. Low back pain is the most common symptom once the pain from the condition spreads. It feels like a muscle in the lower back has been sprained and usually gets worse with exercise or activity. It can also occur during a teenager’s growth spurt after puberty which is why the typical age of a person who acquires the condition is usually between 15 to 16 years.
The condition usually occurs in 3 to 4% of the population and is the most common cause of lower back pain in children or people below the age of 26. Spondylolysis is more common in kids or teenagers who take part in vigorous activities that over extend their spines such as weightlifting, gymnastics and football.
The condition calls for a more conservative approach. Chiropractic care of Spondylolysis would aim to reduce the pain, let the fracture heal and help return the patient to normal activities. Patients are also advised to refrain from any vigorous physical activities such as exercise or sports to help them heal faster. Treatments for severe cases often involve the use of a back brace or support which helps stabilize the back and prevent lower back pain to aid the healing process.
The condition might not be preventable in some cases however certain steps can be taken to reduce the risk of fractures in the lower back.
Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Spinal column curvature 2011.png
Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no exercise equipment.
It works the longus capitis, longus colli, SCM (sternocleidomastoid) muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to increase neck strength and muscular endurance.
The benefits are improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.
Begin by lying on the back with the head extended off the table, maintaining a chin tuck position.
Slowly extend the head back towards the floor and then raise the head, returning to the initial neutral starting position and repeat as instructed.
Move slowly through the range of motion.
Slowly return to start position.
Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.
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