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Disc Herniation Treatment in Ottawa

Woman in gray shirt holding body in pain While there’s no such thing as a “slipped” disc, problems with discs are very real. Disc herniations are one of the most common conditions we help our patients with at Ottawa Health: Performance and Rehabilitation. The term “herniation” applies to a more severe level of disc damage. Other terms that you may hear include:

  • Disc protrusion / Disc bulge: This is a common finding, which may or may not be
    symptomatic. It is the initial stage of disc damage where a small portion of the disc material has begun to break through the walls that hold the disc in place. On an MRI, this appears as a small bulge.
  • Disc extrusion / Disc herniation: This occurs when the bulge becomes large enough
    that a substantial amount of disc material breaks through the disc wall. It is a more complicated degree of damage, and usually results in nerve pain down one or both legs, numbness, and weakness.

How We Can Help

We offer a suite of effective solutions to address disc herniation:

  • Chiropractic: A remarkably effective and natural solution, chiropractic can address various disc problems. We offer a comprehensive approach to easing symptoms and improving disc issues.
  • Physiotherapy: Equally as beneficial as chiropractic in addressing disc herniation, physiotherapy can reduce the inflammation and dysfunction that occurs with a herniated disc. In addition to easing symptoms, physiotherapy can stop flare-ups and recurrences and improve lumbar spine function and mobility.
  • Education: This is at the forefront of our care plans when it comes to disc herniations because these conditions are very easily aggravated, and we want you to understand the mechanisms involved so you can minimize future bouts of pain. We teach our patients how to move without pain so they can continue to enjoy their lives.
  • McKenzie Approach: This is a specific technique used to relieve pain and recover from disc herniations. It involves certain movements and stretches that help alleviate pressure on the herniated disc.
  • Manual Therapy: Most people with disc problems compensate in the way they move, and this can often result in pain. Manual therapies offered by our chiropractors or physiotherapists can help relieve the pain from compensating in your movements.
  • Rehabilitation: We focus on strengthening the supporting tissues of the spine and improving range of motion for the activities needed in your job or responsibilities. For example, for patients with young kids, we will focus on learning how to pick children up from the ground, squatting, etc.


In some cases, we may require an MRI to assess whether your injury requires a surgical consultation, pain medication or injections. Our nurse practitioner can immediately refer for an MRI or consult if needed, which can help you get seen much more quickly than waiting for a hospital or doctor referral.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long until I feel relief?

The length of time required to heal will depend on the severity of the damage and your diligence in rehabilitation. Most patients leave very satisfied with their initial consultation because we teach them how to manage the condition outside of our clinic.

Aren’t disc problems simply due to the normal aging process?

Yes and no. Many problems are due to years of neglect or cumulative trauma. Many people who have spinal problems won’t experience symptoms until they’re in an advanced stage of degeneration. There are many elderly people who have maintained their spine throughout their lives who still enjoy optimal spinal health and function; even those who have degeneration on X-rays. With that being said, degeneration of the spine is a normal aging process. Experiencing pain and dysfunction is not.

Could chiropractic help me avoid surgery?

Possibly. It depends on the severity of your disc conditions. But it’s a good idea to start with chiropractic first as it’s natural and non-invasive. Surgery should be considered only when non-surgical approaches have been explored.

Book Today

Contact us today to schedule. We look forward to welcoming you into the practice!


Disc Herniation Treatment in Alta Vista, Ottawa ON | (613) 728-9414