Dr. Hoffman has years of experience treating herniated discs in the neck and back and helping his Rego Park/ Forest Hills/ Elmhurst and surrounding Queens neighbors recover from these injuries which are typically due to work accidents, car accidents, or sports accidents. Dr. Hoffman has years of experience treating these conditions and most cases respond well to conservative treatment such as chiropractic care.

About Herniated Discs:
Vertebral discs are located throughout the spinal column and are located between the bones in your spine and act pretty much the same way a shock absorber works in a car. The spinal disc is there to absorb shock and stress in the spinal column. A spinal disc has an inner part which is sort of like a jelly like material surrounded by an outer harder fibrous layer. I typically explain to my patients that it’s similar to a jelly donut and when the jelly comes out of the donut it’s pretty much the same as what happens when somebody herniates a disc. The disc ruptures or herniates through small cracks in the outer harder layers and when it breaks through the outer layers it is now ruptured or herniated. If the same thing happens but the disc material doesn’t break completely through the outer layer it’s referred to as a disc bulge. Herniated discs can occur anywhere in the spine but usually occur either in the neck or the lower back. Herniated discs themselves often don’t cause pain except when they come in contact with a nerve root. This can lead to nerve symptoms in the arm or leg such as numbness, tingling, burning, or a pins and needles sensation. Symptoms will depend on which nerve or nerves are being compressed or irritated. There are a number of conditions that cause neck and back pain, disc herniations are just one of them. Herniated discs are typically due to traumatic injury such as car accidents, work accidents, or sports injuries. Herniated discs can also be caused by degeneration of the disc which occurs from aging. Most of the time herniated discs respond favorable to chiropractic care.

Does chiropractic care help with herniated discs?
Typically they do but not always. The goal of treatment is to take pressure off of the nerve or nerves that are being compressed or irritated by the herniation itself. The goal isn’t to fix the herniation. This isn’t possible using chiropractic care or any other form of care with the exception of surgical intervention to either remove the entire disc or a portion of the disc. This should always be used only as a last resort and should be avoided at all costs if possible. Results from surgery are permanent and results are mixed at best. It is always a good idea to start off with the least invasive therapy (chiropractic) and if that doesn’t help you enough, than try epidural injections, and if that doesn’t help surgery is your last option. At the end of the day, you certainly don’t want to start by going to see a surgeon unless everything else failed and you are looking to get surgery. I am always here to help my patients and I will always give them my best advice. I am always fair and honest with all of my patients.

How can you avoid getting herniated discs?
The easiest way to avoid getting them is to avoid trauma to your spine. However, that isn’t always possible. Obviously you should always drive safely as well as practice safety and use caution at the workplace but unfortunately accidents happen. When lifting it is important to use proper lifting techniques and a good back brace helps also. I would recommend using an LSO brace when lifting. A little more expensive than a regular back brace but definitely worth it especially if you have to lift often. Staying at a healthy weight helps your lower back, hips, and knees. Exercising and stretching regularly helps. Developing and maintaining good posture as well as regular chiropractic adjustments are very important as well.

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