Seeing a chiropractor for a herniated disc may or may not be a wise decision, depending on the severity of the injury. A herniated disc occurs when a spinal disc ruptures; this disc sits between two vertebrae, and when it ruptures, it presses against the nerves that run in that area. It can also allow for spinal compression, which can in turn lead to pain in the back. Nerve pain will also be felt in the areas serviced by that nerve. Most herniated discs heal on their own, but if they don't, seeing a chiropractor may be one option.
It would be wise to consult a medical professional before seeing a chiropractor for a herniated disc. The idea behind visiting the chiropractor is to help alleviate the pain and prevent the disc from herniating again, but a chiropractic treatment may actually make the problem worse. The best time to see a chiropractor is after the disc has healed; he or she can help stretch the muscles of the spine and help prevent or alleviate spinal compression, which can in turn help prevent a herniated disc. The spinal disc will be healthy by then and less at risk of becoming re-injured.
Do not go see a chiropractor for a herniated disc at the height of the pain. See a doctor or other medical professional first; he or she may recommend certain physical therapy, drugs, or other methods that can help alleviate pain and allow the injury to heal. In very serious cases of a herniated disc, the healthcare provider may recommend surgery to fix the problem, though this is generally considered a last resort. If surgery is recommended, ask the doctor if you can try seeing a chiropractor first; he or she will help you decide if this is a good course of action.
Like all other remedies for a herniated disc, seeing a chiropractor will only be beneficial if you combine it with other preventative measures, such as exercising regularly and stretching daily. The chiropractor may be able to provide you with a few days of respite from the pain, but if your daily habits do not lend themselves to a healthy spine and body, you will be very likely to experience pain again. If you choose to see a chiropractor, be sure to begin stretching and exercising regularly before and after the visit.