Herniated discs are a widespread cause of pain. Our Structural Chiropractic team has created the following guide to help you understand this condition and the relief we can help you obtain for it.

What Is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc occurs when one of the discs located between the spinal bones tears. When this happens, some of the disc’s filling pushes out of the disc. This material can press against surrounding nerves, causing nerve pain and dysfunction.

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

Although many people with herniated discs don’t have any symptoms, a herniated disc can cause various painful symptoms that interfere with everyday activities. These symptoms vary depending on the degree of nerve compression the protruding disc material creates. This condition can also cause symptoms in different body parts, depending on where the herniated disc is in the spine.

The most common site of disc herniation is in the lower back. These damaged discs can also occur in the neck. In most cases, the symptoms of one of these problematic discs occur on only one side of the body.


The most common symptom of a herniated disc is sharp and burning pain. If the herniated disc is in the lower back, you will have lower back pain. Other areas affected by a problematic disc in this region include the thigh, buttocks, calf, and foot. This widespread pain is because the nerves carry pain throughout this entire area. Fortunately, treating the underlying nerve dysfunction can help resolve pain and restore function to the lower body.

When disc herniation happens in the neck, it primarily causes arm and shoulder pain. One of the more alarming aspects of herniated discs in the neck is that the pain tends to travel rather unexpectedly to distant areas of the body. Many of our patients have told us that they were amazed when their neck pain shot down their arm or even their leg. Typically this can happen in response to sneezing, coughing, or sudden movements.

Pins-and-Needles Numbness

No matter where your herniated disc is located, you’ll probably experience some degree of numbness. Patients often tell us that this feels similar to a “foot falling asleep.” In addition to being annoying, this symptom is dangerous because it interferes with normal sensory nerve function. Your sense of touch or other sensations is necessary for survival, so you must get treatment for this kind of sensory nerve dysfunction as soon as possible.


Nerves don’t just help you feel the fire burning your arm or leg. They allow you to move your body safely away from danger. When nerve function is compromised, the muscles that they control become weaker. This can make sitting, standing, moving, or lifting objects challenging. Therefore, a herniated disc can weaken your muscles, so you have difficulty performing everyday tasks such as carrying groceries, getting dressed, or walking very far.

Chiropractic Interventions for a Herniated Disc

Every patient who visits our structural chiropractic office receives a detailed assessment. When you see us for a herniated disc, we focus on relieving nerve compression and boosting overall health to restore normal function.

An In-Depth Understanding of Your Body

When you first step into our office, we work hard to understand why you are in pain and how we can improve your health. An initial appointment at our practice can include functional movement tests, a comprehensive medical history review, and a detailed physical assessment. Sometimes, we perform scans to give a clearer picture of the problem.

When you see us for a herniated disc, we must understand how it affects how you feel and move. As a result, we perform reflex, movement, and sensation testing to establish your performance. Such testing involves moving, walking, and reacting while we analyze your movement patterns. These functional test results, scans, and other tests we perform can help you see how your body functions better with chiropractic treatment.

Test results are also helpful for consulting with a surgeon if needed. Our goal is to get you the best possible treatment, and if a surgical repair is necessary, then we will be honest and provide you with the required referral. If you need surgery, we’ll be glad to work with your surgical team to help you recover as quickly and fully as possible.

Wellness-boosting Interventions

At our practice, we don’t just focus on getting you out of pain. We want to help you move forward into a healthier lifestyle. When you see us, we focus on everything that can work together to make you healthier. This includes your social system, nutritional support, and nurturing movement.

While we can perform a variety of structure-enhancing chiropractic adjustments, none of them will do you much long-term good if you spend your time outside of our office living in ways that undo the benefits we achieve together in our office. We focus on helping you move and eat to build a stronger body. We also enjoy helping you harness the power of community through solid relationships and the power of your mind through research-driven mindfulness practices.

Cure-Focused Care

We don’t just want you to leave our office free of pain for the afternoon or even until your next appointment. We want you to experience the power of structural chiropractic to improve how your body moves together as a unit. When you come to our office, we perform a variety of strategic chiropractic techniques to eliminate nerve compression and restore healthy movement.

Structural Chiropractic Provides Herniated Disc Relief

Are you ready to get help for your herniated disc? We’ve helped many patients through structural chiropractic, and we’d love to talk with you. Give our Structural Chiropractic team a call at (425) 636-0303 or send us a message at info@structuralchiro.com for comprehensive, cure-focused care.