We have all heard the term ‘slipped disc’. In actuality, discs do not slip, they bulge out or herniate from in between the bones. When a disc is herniated, a fragment of the center of the disc pushes through a tear in an outer disc layer. A patient will have pain when this fragment touches a nearby nerve. You will find that a herniated disc is most common in the lower back.
- What causes a disc to herniate?
It is a domino effect. Your lifestyle choices like smoking, failure to exercise, and poor nutrition will contribute to poor disc health. Daily wear and tear, poor posture, injury, or any twisting or incorrect lifting of an object will stress the already weak disc further. Then, even the simplest movement like a cough or bending to pick up your car keys can cause the herniation of this weak disc.
- How do I know if my disc is herniated?
Because there may or may not be pain associated with a herniated disc, it can be difficult to diagnose. When pain is present, the most common symptom will be pain which radiates all the way across the hips and even into the buttocks. There can be numbness and or pain which may spread down into your ankle. In the most severe cases of disc herniation the patient will notice changes in bladder or bowel function and may have difficulty with their sexual functions.
- How will my herniation treated?
Any mild case of disc herniation can be treated with stretching, chiropractic care and physical therap. The more severe cases will require some form of spinal decompression in addition to seeking care from your chiropractor as well as exercise therapy. There are the extreme herniation’s which will require a form of surgery. Surgery is almost always considered a last resort after all other treatment options have been exhausted.