A herniated disc is an issue with one of the rubbery cushions, or discs, located between each of the bones in the vertebrae. This spinal disc is small with a tough exterior and a soft interior. A herniated disc occurs when the softer part of the spinal disc pushed through the tough exterior.
What Are Herniated Disc Symptoms?
In most cases, herniated discs occur in the lower back, also known as the lumbar spine. It is possible, however, for the herniated disc to occur in your neck, also known as your cervical spine. In some cases, there are no symptoms at all. This is rare, but it is possible to live with a herniated disc without even realizing it. The symptoms of this condition include:
- Pain: If your herniated disc is in your lower back, you will feel the most intense pain in your calf, thigh, or buttocks. In some cases, the pain can also be felt in your foot. If the herniated disc is located in your neck, you will feel most of the pain in your arm or your shoulder. When you sneeze, cough, or move your body into certain positions, the pain can shoot to your arm or your leg.
- Numbness or Tingling: It is not uncommon to feel numbness and tingling in certain areas of the body. The areas of the body where the numbness and tingling occur depends on what nerves are being affected by your condition.
- Weakness: The muscles that are served by the affected nerve can become weak. This can make it difficult to hold or lift items. It can also cause you to stumble when you walk.
What Causes a Herniated Disc?
As you age, your spinal discs can lose some of their water content. This makes them less flexible and more prone to tearing. Something as simple as twisting the wrong way or a minor strain can cause this condition. Lifting heavy objects, turning while lifting, a fall, or a blow to the back can all cause a herniated disc. In some cases, the patient cannot pinpoint the cause of the injury.
Who Is At Risk Of Developing A Herniated Disc?
While anyone can develop a herniated disc, there are certain factors that put you at greater risk.
- Obesity: If you are carrying excess weight, it can put extra stress on the discs in your lower back.
- Occupation: If you have a physically demanding job where repetitive lifting, pushing, pulling, twisting, or bending sideways are required, you’re at an increased risk for developing a herniated disc.
- Genetics: It is possible to inherit a predisposition to developing a herniated disc.
How Is a Herniated Disc Treated?
There are a variety of treatment methods for herniated discs depending on the severity. Pain medication, muscle relaxers, chiropractic care, and surgery are the most common.
If you are suffering from neck or back pain associated with a herniated disc, you should make an appointment with Integrated Medical Group in Highland. Our chiropractor can create a treatment plan to help relieve the pain, improving your quality of life.