Disc Herniations In Athletes
What you should know if it happens to you or a loved one
From the top, it's important to know that we see and successfully treat lots of athletes in our clinic suffering from all kinds of extremity, neck, and low back issues. That's just what we do. When we are discussing disc herniations in athletes in Amarillo, we are firmly in our wheelhouse.
Let's start by defining a disc herniation. The discs are little shock absorbers between the bones (vertebrae) of our spines. The shock absorbers are made up of rings of cartilage on the outside with jelly for the center. Sort of like a jelly donut.
A herniation is basically when there is a weakening of that outer cartilage ring allowing the jelly to push through and cause irritation on the nerve root that passes through the area. This can hurt. It can hurt A LOT. As in....more than you have ever hurt in your life. It can potentially cause loss of function and other issues as well. Although something on that level is more rare.
There are non-surgical as well as surgical options for something like this and, thanks to more current research, when there is no loss of function neurologically, then non-surgical options are 100% the first line of treatment recommendations. Let's fly in the face of traditional medical thinking even further by saying that research also suggests that up to 70% of symptomatic patients improve with conservative care.
Discs just have a tendency to heal up and the right kind of conservative care can help that happen more rapidly.
For obvious reasons, athletes experience disc herniations more commonly. While surgery is sometimes the best option when there is neurological functional loss, conservative care like the care you'll find here at Creek Stone Integrated Medical can get these athletes back into the game they love without any significant setback.
There was a paper that included 799 patients that had surgery performed on them due to disc herniation. The paper also included 308 patients that did not have surgery for their disc herniations. Instead, that group had physical therapy and low-grade meds like ibuprofen.
They concluded that 83% of the surgery group came back to play. At the same time, 81.5% returned to play from the NO SURGERY group.
The paper went a little further and showed that the average time to return to the game with zero symptoms was 5.19 months for the surgery group and only 4.11 months for the NO SURGERY group.
They said, "This study revealed that there is no statistical difference between the return to play rates in both groups. Based on this info, it is safe to say that operative care does not have faster return to play then non-operative management. "
That's powerful! Certainly when you athlete is young and developing, not to mention the college athlete hoping to step into the pros, and then the pro that has millions of dollars on the line every time they step on the field.
We have several ways of treating disc injury here at Creek Stone. One of the ways we approach disc injury is through McKenzie Methods from the famous physical therapist, Robin McKenzie. We also employ spinal decompression and low-level laser as well as neurodynamic exercise and stretching.
While we are extremely successful at treating disc injuries in Amarillo, it all starts with the diagnosis. Having a Fellowship in Orthopedics and Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine helps us get to the most accurate diagnosis quickly and direct treatment effectively and efficiently.
If we can help you or your loved one, call Creek Stone Integrated Medical at 806-355-3000 and let's get you some help and get you back in the game.
Dr. Jeff Williams, DC, FIANM, DABFP is double Board Certified as a Fellow in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Orthopedics as well as a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Professionals, and chiropractor in Amarillo, TX. As an Amarillo chiropractor, Dr. Williams treats chronic pain, disc pain, low back pain, neck pain, whiplash injuries, and more. Dr. Williams is also the host of The Chiropractic Forward Podcast (https://www.chiropracticforward.com). Through the podcast, Dr. Williams teaches fellow chiropractors and advocates weekly for evidence-based, patient-centered practice through current and relevant research. If you have any questions for Dr. Williams, feel free to email at [email protected] Learn more about Dr. Williams and his practice at https://www.amarillochiropractor.com.
Dr. Williams was voted Best Chiropractor In Amarillo in the Best of Amarillo 2020 & 2021. Dr. Williams's full-time Amarillo chiropractic practice is Creek Stone Integrated Medical at 3501 SW 45th St., Ste. T, Amarillo, TX 79109. If you are searching for a chiropractor near me, Dr. Williams is your Amarillo Chiropractor.
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Jeff S Williams, DC, FIANM, DABFP