5 STARS - Rated the BEST Arlington Heights Chiropractor Team


A herniated disc (disk) is not the same as a bulging disc, although the terms are often used interchangeably. A herniated disc diagnosis can be scary. However, we offer safe and effective non-surgical approaches to both bulging disc and herniated disc treatment. Also, referred to as a slipped disc, a herniated disc does not slip. It is firmly fixed to the vertebrae of the spinal column.

Another misnomer related to a slipped disc – actually herniated disc – is that chiropractors have a quick fix to “pop” them into place. Rather, our Arlington Heights Chiropractor team is highly trained in a variety of techniques related to herniated disc treatment and other muscle, bone and joint maladies. We have successfully offered patients herniated disc treatment for over 30 years.

Other than the two, topmost vertebrae in the neck, intervertebral discs line up between all vertebrae of the spinal column, functioning as protective, shock-absorbing cushions as well as allowing flexibility and spinal motion. Discs are made up of a tougher fibrous exterior and soft, pressurized, jelly-like inner core. 

Serving Arlington Heights, Mt Prospect, Rolling Meadows and surrounding suburbs since 1981 First Health Associates’ Center for Integrative Medicine is proud to offer our patients an effective, non-surgical approach to herniated disc treatment.


Discs can herniate for a number of reasons. One happens with forceful movements of your spine. This force tears the fibrous outer layer causing the pressurized jelly core to push the remaining surrounding fibers to bulge, hence the name bulging disc, or may severely tear a great number of fibers causing the jelly to leak resulting in a herniated disc.

Another type of disc herniation happens with age. Here the surrounding fibers become more brittle and crack. The cracked fibers allow the soft, inner nucleus of the disc to bulge or leak. When leakage occurs the disc herniation results in an inflammatory reaction. Here the inflammation causes pressure on the spinal nerve running next to the disc. If the discs in the lower back are affected, this commonly leads to leg pain known as sciatica. If the discs are located in the neck a herniated disc can lead to pain or numbness in the hands and arms.

A major point of confusion is that many people whose spinal MRI’s show them to have a herniated disc experience no symptoms. A lot depends on the exact location of the disc herniation. If close to a spinal nerve or structure with a sensitive nerve fibers pain occurs.


A recent study confirmed the efficacy of spinal manipulation usage for disc herniation. The study involved 184 patients with disc herniation confirmed by history, symptoms and MRI. It’s conclusion was clear as it reported “a large percentage of acute and importantly chronic lumbar disc herniation patients treated with chiropractic spinal manipulation reported clinically relevant improvement (nearly 70% of patients improved as early as 2 weeks after the start of treatment. By 3 months, this figure was up to 90.5%)”.

Prior to bulging disc treatment, our experienced Arlington Heights chiropractor team takes into account your medical history. We then do a physical examination to locate, assess and diagnose conditions that may underlie or contribute to the pain associated with disc herniation.

Our chiropractors utilize a few types of treatments: mechanical (use of external equipment) and manual (hands-on, physical) depending on the patient’s condition and preference. They will work with you to create an individualized plan of herniated disc treatment that includes self-education and exercise.

If necessary we may suggest a multi-disciplinary approach adding our medical physician and acupuncturist to ensure the fastest and best outcome. Medically our medical physician is trained in Physiatry, a non-surgical medical rehabilitation specialty. Medical physician Dr. Jason Gruss, MD is a fellow in the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has been helping patients suffering from various muscle, bone, joint and nerve maladies for over 13 years.

Also on staff is acupuncturist Yu Zhu, LAc, MD(China), who taught acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine in China for 23 years before immigrating to the US.  Dr Zhu virtually wrote the book on acupuncture for low back pain. Often our Arlington Heights Chiropractor team will work together with these disciplines offering you the greatest chance for a non-surgical back pain solution.


Since 1981, First Health’s Arlington Heights chiropractor team has been working closely with both our on-staff medical physicians and local medical physicians to provide the best integrative medical care in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs. Our experienced chiropractors are highly and uniquely trained to locate, diagnose and provide a non-surgical approach to herniated disc treatment. Conveniently located off I-90, near Golf and Arlington Heights Roads, First Health serves patients from Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Elk Grove and Des Plaines.

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