Bulging, Herniated, & Ruptured Disc Treatment & Chiropractic Care in New York City

Herniated discs can cause a great deal of pain and dysfunction. When the cushioning discs of fluid-filled cartilage that support your vertebrae rupture, the results can include pinched nerves and all the serious neurological symptoms that go along with them. If you’re struggling with this condition, you might assume that you have no alternatives but to either live with the pain or submit yourself for major, spine-altering surgery.  Before you cross that bridge consider how chiropractic care can return your body to its full health free of pain in a non-invasive drug free healthcare treatment.  

Is It a Bulging, Herniated, Slipped or Ruptured Disc?

Many people get puzzled over the various terms thrown around to describe spinal disc problems. Do you have a bulging disc, a ruptured disc, or a herniated disc? Before we answer this question, let’s look at the basic anatomy and function of vertebral discs.

These discs sit between the vertebrae and act as cushions, absorbing the countless daily shocks that come from walking, running, working, or playing.  A vertebral disc consists of two structures to accomplish this act of shock absorption. The outer structure, called the annulus fibrosus, is a tough, disc-shaped, cartilaginous “container.” The inner layer is a gel-like fluid known as the nucleus pulposus.

A herniated disc can occur spontaneously due to an acute injury or other sudden trauma, but it often starts as a bulging disc. Bulging discs typically develop as you age and your body loses some of its natural hydration, including the hydration that “plumps up” the discs. 

Once a disc starts to flatten out, it also starts to bulge outward from its normal place within the spinal column. If one part of the annulus fibrosus develops a weakness, that part of the disc may start to protrude even further. Sufficient weakness or pressure can result in this area rupturing and splitting open.

Herniated discs can cause excruciating pain because the annulus fibrosus contains some very sensitive nerves. Even worse, the nucleus pulposus that leaks out of the rupture in the disc contains inflammatory substances that aggravate the discomfort. Parts of a herniated disc may press against the major nerve roots that push out from the spinal column. When this happens, the pinched nerve tissue causes symptoms such as:

  • Back, neck or extremity pain
  • Numbness or ‘pins & needles’ in a lower or upper extremity
  • Arm or leg weakness and loss of function
  • Cauda equina syndrome, which includes loss of bladder or bowel control 

Herniated discs most commonly occur within the lower back, although it is possible for discs in the neck to herniate, as well. There are three main symptoms to look for that could indicate a problem with a herniated disc.

The first, and most obvious, is pain. Most people feel pain in their back, as that is the location of the disc. This is not usually where the pain shows up, though. When the herniated disc is located in the lower back, the pain is felt mostly in the buttocks, thigh, and calf. It is also possible that the pain could travel down to the foot, sciatica.

When the herniated disc is located in the neck, pain is typically restricted to the shoulder and arm. If you move your neck, the pain could also travel down the arms or legs as the spine also moves.

Pain is common with herniated discs, but it is not present in every case. Occasionally a person might simply feel numbness or tingling in specific areas of the body. Other times herniated discs cause muscles to become weaker and ultimately limit body movements.  In extreme cases, a herniated disc can cause people to stumble as they walk, or prevent them from lifting or holding anything. Occasionally people with a herniated disc do not show any of these symptoms or symptoms of a herniated disc until it appears on an X-ray or during a consultation for chiropractic care.

Herniated discs can prove so disabling that sufferers will consider almost any kind of treatment that might provide relief. The common assumption among many is that they will have to have surgery to remove part of the disc or have the adjacent vertebrae fused together. The good news is that such extreme methods are usually only necessary in the worst cases. 

Most herniated discs will respond to non-invasive treatment methods such as chiropractic care.  Chiropractors are deeply knowledged on herniated discs and know what to look for when making a diagnosis. During the initial consultation, I will perform a physical exam. I will look at the area where the herniated disc is located, along with the entire spine. Chiropractic care includes the overall wellness of the spine discerning any issues that could give rise to a herniated disc. A good chiropractor will also test your reflexes if he or she suspects a herniated disc. If the nerves are not sending messages correctly, the reflexes will not react as they should (indicating a disc is herniated). I will also look at the muscles and soft tissue, looking for signs of atrophy or loss of strength.

Chiropractors treat herniated discs by correcting the underlying circumstances that produced the damage in the first place.  You may need chiropractic adjustments, manual spinal traction or related chiropractic techniques to correct vertebral positioning and move the disc back into its proper place. These corrections can reduce inflammation while also taking pressure off of nerve roots. We can enhance your results with other techniques such as craniosacral therapy, energy work, stretching or strengthening exercises for the back or neck.

Herniated discs can cause real problems, even when you do not know you have one. If you have experienced any of the symptoms associated with herniated discs, contact me.

About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy

Dr. Kaminsky is a 1999 graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic. He is licensed to practice in NY and has completed close to three thousand hours of professional continuing education since becoming licensed in March of 2000.

The primary approach used in his office is Craniosacral Therapy (CST) which is a method focusing on the cranium (head) and sacrum (a large bone at the base of the spine) scientifically proven to control life sustaining fluid flow throughout the body.

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on manual therapy approach that brings about healing via the fluidity of the body. The existence of the Craniosacral System was first discovered by Osteopath Dr. William Sutherland in the early 1900’s, calling it Cranial Osteopathy.  And later rediscovered, validated, and developed by Dr. John Upledger in the late 70’s early 80’s, who renamed it Craniosacral Therapy after doing five years of research at the Michigan State University, School of Medicine. In 1983 Dr. John, as he was fondly called, established a teaching institute in Palm Beach, Florida, to teach this cranial sacral method to all healthcare providers. The Upledger Institute is still very active today.

The craniosacral mechanism pumps fluid which is produced in the brain, called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), through the fascial network of the body, the purpose of which is to lubricate joints, muscles, organs, all cells and all tissues. It is the driving life force for your body’s systems to function properly, CSF also carries healing properties to bodily traumas, injuries and past surgeries.

The proper function of your cranial sacral mechanism, via CSF flow, maintains the normal tone of your muscles, provide nutrients to your organs, and keeps you out of pain. It sustains human life and allows your nervous system to stay responsive to challenges of daily living and your mind-body life experiences. The better your craniosacral mechanism functions, the better the flow of this life sustaining fluid, the better your body can handle physical and emotional stress. The uninhibited flow of this fluid throughout your body allows you to thrive, opposite of survival mode.

CSF is part of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) brain and spinal cord), which is physically encapsulated within the dural membranes of the spine and head.

One of the functions inside of your brain is to automatically generate energetic rhythmic impulses that function to pump CSF throughout your body, regulating your peripheral nerves, nervous system and organ systems, which in turn, sustain your function (physiology) and life. It is an important force that maintains everything functioning in your body. This is what we call the Craniosacral System, or Craniosacral Mechanism. It is the hydraulic, energetic and rejuvenating system of your body.

This measurable life force of moving fluid is palpable to a trained craniosacral therapist, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rate, that can all be felt, so too can the Cranial Sacral Rhythm (CSR) be palpated and measured. It is the foundational diagnostic tool in real-time used to evaluate your current state of well-being (or lack thereof), and potential for health improvement and healing.

Compromises of your rhythmic impulse, correlates to CSF flow restrictions in the system which the body is unable to self-correct or overcome on its own. This is the reason why over time we develop pain, dis-ease, symptoms, conditions, mind-body disconnect and basically all human physical and psychological ailments.

When the fluid isn’t flowing optimally, your bodily rejuvenation is affected, and this is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable. By placing his or her hands on your body, most commonly on your head and sacrum, for diagnostic purposes, the practitioner can detect, feel, evaluate, and rate the SSQAR (strength, symmetry, quality, amplitude, rate) of the rhythm; then bring forth correction of any limitations with subsequent experienced hand placements on different parts the body during a session.

A craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm reset, restore and renew allowing for healing to take place of the mind-body connection, musculoskeletal tightness and spasms, neurological deficits, autoimmune issues, organ function, many common conditions, and of course pain. Through a practitioners properly focused and attuned touch, your body is facilitated to release channels of fluid stagnation and flow restriction, which ultimately breakthrough, overcome and improve CSR and the function of vital fluid flow.

Dr. Alex Kaminsky is an advanced practitioner of Craniosacral therapy, having studied up to advanced levels including SER and pediatric courses. He has built a solid foundation with many years of experience, treating babies, children and adults.

To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kaminsky.