Herniated Discs are spinal disc problems in the lower part of the back that can be very painful. At times, it is a very hard task to find a position in which you can simply be comfortable when dealing with a herniated disc. Around the country, millions of Americans are suffering from either acute or chronic back pain, and for thousands of these people, the cause of their pain is a phenomenon known as spinal disc herniation.
Causes of Herniated Discs
Spinal discs are small, round, gel- and fibrous-like structures between the spinal vertebrae. Spinal discs increase spine flexibility, protect the spinal cord, and act as shock absorbers. A herniation occurs when the disc slips out of place due to tears in its outer tissue and protrudes out between two vertebrae. This can happen due to an unusual or high force on the spine such as when a person slips or lifts a heavy object with poor body mechanics. A slipped disc can be very painful and may cause pressure on spinal root nerves as well as inflammation and injury to surrounding structures like nearby ligaments.
Symptoms of Herniated Discs
The very first part of treatment is recognizing the actual symptoms of a slipped disc. To have a herniated disc means that the soft connective disc between the vertebrae of the spine is putting pressure on the nerves in the back. Symptoms might differ in the case of arm and leg pain depending on where in your spine and neck the slipped disc is located. A person with this condition might also experience numbness and tingling. It is also common to experience weakness in the arm or leg.
The most common symptoms of a herniated disc include:
- Pain in the back or neck
- Pain in the legs or arms (due to pressure on spinal nerves that exit at the level of the herniation and go on to innervate the limbs)
- Sore, tender muscles
Those with more severe cases may experience limited movement. It is important to note that numbness and tingling might be the first signs of a herniated disc, followed by pain and weakness.
Herniated disc treatment should always be handled by a chiropractor. At American Neurospine Institute, PLLC we rely on our whole-body approach to health and wellness to help find relief. The first step in your treatment will be to have an MRI which will show a specific view of individual discs, nerves, and areas in the spine that may be causing increased pressure. Next, we will proceed with your chiropractor’s suggested method of treatment through chiropractic adjustments and/or spinal decompression.
- Chiropractic adjustments, also known as spinal manipulations, can greatly reduce pain and stiffness associated with disc herniations. To perform an adjustment, a chiropractor uses his or her hands to direct a high-velocity force on a specific area of the spine.
- Spinal decompression is another technique used by chiropractors to treat disc herniations. This technique involves the use of straps or other specialized equipment to apply a gentle pulling or “distraction” force in the spine. This creates space between the vertebrae and reduces pressure on the herniated disc. This technique can even help the herniated disc slip back into the correct position.