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Chiropractic Care for Annular Tear Relief

Published Date: 
December 14, 2023
Chiropractor working on a young woman's lower back from annular tear.

Annular tears are a painful condition that affects your quality of life.

The exterior layer of a spinal disc (annulus fibrosus) functions as a protective shell for the gel inside the spine. When this outer layer is torn, it's known as an annular tear.

Symptoms range from mild to severe and, when severe, can interfere with all aspects of your life. An annular disc tear has many different causes, but all result in uncomfortable spinal problems. That affects movement and flexibility. Left untreated, annular tears can develop into additional spinal issues.

In most cases, physicians recommend over-the-counter and/or prescription medications to alleviate the pain of an annular tear. In some cases, surgery will also be recommended. Unfortunately, these treatment approaches are risky and, in the case of medication, do nothing to correct the problem.

Chiropractic care is an all-natural, safe, and effective treatment that corrects an annular tear. It helps you manage your symptoms, restore health, and avoid recurrences of the condition.

Common Symptoms of an Annular Tears

Symptoms of an annular tear include:

Back Pain

Pain can be dull, sharp, aching, or burning and extend into the neck.

Close-up of a woman's right hip, glowing red to indicate pain from an annular tear.

Burning Sciatic Pain

Leg pain can extend along the sciatic nerve and down the leg.

Weakness in Arms & Legs

There might also be stiffness that affects the joints and muscle spasms.

Numbness or Tingling in Arms & Legs

In addition to numbness, you might experience reduced flexibility and range of motion.

Possible Causes

Several things can cause an annular tear. These include:

  • Degeneration of the spine due to age
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Injury, which is usually sudden and causes painful tearing of the outer layer of the intervertebral disc
  • Bulging or herniated disc
  • Foraminal stenosis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Overuse
  • Improper lifting

How Chiropractors Treat Annular Tears to Alleviate Pain

There are several tools that chiropractors use to treat an annular disc tear. These modalities result in pain relief and help the body to heal. Treatment options include:

Chiropractor adjusting a young male patient's lower back.

Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic adjustments are the primary component of this approach to treatment. Adjustments are controlled and gentle. They help restore proper spinal alignment, which is essential in healing and overall health.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is integral to a healing and treatment plan for annular tears. A physical therapist helps you develop a stretching and exercise routine practiced in the office and used at home to enhance the body's healing ability further. PT increases strength and alleviates pressure from the spine to allow you to function normally.

Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic massage helps pain management when you have an annular tear. It also promotes healthy blood flow, which speeds healing. It alleviates adhesions, which can increase pain when the body is healing, and enables a healthy range of motion. But the primary reason why massage is excellent for helping with annular tears is because they feel good. Even therapeutic massage, which is more intense than Swedish massage, reduces stress and muscle tension. Overall, you'll feel better after a massage, making dealing with a disc injury easier.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Annular Tears

Chiropractic care is a safe, all-natural treatment option for annular tears. The best chiropractic treatment approach includes gentle, controlled motion. This helps heal the discs and allows you to avoid risky medications and dangerous injections, which don't actually fix the problem. Chiropractic care addresses the root cause of the problem and allows the specific injured area of the body to heal naturally.

It also improves your overall health and helps you reduce your risk for future annular tears and other injuries. Chiropractors take a whole-body health approach that encourages healthy lifestyle choices, postural improvements, and treatment modalities that promote optimal quality of life.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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