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Size of Augusta Disc Herniation in Canal Is Not That Important

November 05, 2019

Disc herniations abound! 76% of us have one. (1) Do all 76% have back pain right now? Thankfully, no! The presence of a disc herniation on imaging is not the chief issue. The matter is whether that disc is causing pain either mechanically (by pressing on a nerve) or chemically (by irritating a nerve). Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic determines this during the all-important physical exam. The MRI and other imaging studies are extras that can help - or distract - the chiropractic back pain treatment approach if the doctor and patient allow it. So let’s not let it! 


Some imaging studies or MRI images will illustrate huge discs in back pain sufferers who have minimal or no pain while back pain sufferers who are in awful pain may have a small disc herniation. It can be upsetting. Luckily, research continues to comfort all involved by explaining that size isn’t everything. A study documented that there was no correlation of pain and disability with the size of a disc herniation seen on MRI. (2) Another study of 368 patients who had a lumbar disc herniation said that 91.3% of them did not have back surgery within a year. The surgery patients’ discs occupied 31.5% of their spinal canal while the non-operative patients’ discs took up 31.2% of their spinal canals. That is not much of a variance. Researchers report that this does not predict which patients will fail nonsurgical treatment and require surgery within 2 years after getting a lumbar spine MRI scan. (3) With knowledge of these findings, Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic uses conservative treatment of these disc herniations.


Chiropractors are back pain specialists. Your Augusta chiropractor is the Augusta back pain specialist. Disc herniations causing pain are welcome at Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic as the spinal research shows that, though painful, disc herniations big and small respond well to conservative treatment. Actually, in following up with patients who underwent conservative treatment for their disc herniation, 35% to 100% of the cases showed a reduction in the size of the disc. (4) Two years after conservative care, herniated disc patients showed a 16.5% reduction in size. 57% of patients had a reduction, 40% showed no change in size, and 3% had a bigger herniation. (5) More specifically, conservative treatment of the disc herniation with flexion distraction Cox® Technic produced increases in the measurements of the spinal canal by as much as 28% in area, 17% in height and 7% in width. (6) Augusta back pain sufferers are grateful for such improvement in their disc herniations as pain relief results.

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Listen to the PODCAST with Dr. George Joachim on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson. Dr. Joachim presents the case of a patient with a disc herniation resulting in spinal stenosis that created considerable pain and alteration to her lifestyle which was enhanced with his use of the Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management.

Schedule your Augusta chiropractic appointment today. No matter its size, your disc herniation is in good company and in good hands at Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic.

Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic reports on new research that again states that the size of a disc herniation doesn’t matter that much.