Herniated discs occur when a tear develops in the outer, fibrous ring of a spinal disc, allowing the jelly-like inner part of the disc to bulge out of the torn spot. This protrusion of the inner disc may result in pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord near the herniation, causing interruption in normal nerve flow and often severe pain.
Also accurately known as bulging or ruptured discs, this injury can also cause a release of inflammatory chemical mediators, which intensify and propagate the inflammatory response, and may cause intense pain even in the event the nerve root is not compressed. This condition has also become widely referred to as a slipped disc, however, this term is not medically accurate as the spinal discs are firmly attached between the vertebrae and cannot “slip” out of place.
If you are experiencing any type of back pain or unexplained symptoms like those listed below, contact us online at our Fort Collins office or call us at (970) 377-3557 to learn more about how we can help.
SYMPTOMS OF HERNIATED DISCS
Symptoms can vary widely in the affected area, or even in other areas of the body, as a result of a herniated disc. These symptoms can include:
- dull or sharp pain and/or numbness, most commonly on one side of the body
- pain that extends to your arms or legs
- increased pain at night or with certain movements
- pain when walking short distances
- increased pain after standing or sitting
- unexplained muscle weakness, muscle spasms, or cramps
- tingling, aching, or burning sensations in the affected area
- overactive reflexes
- in extreme cases, bowel and bladder incontinence
CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS
Herniated discs are most often due to disc degeneration as a result of not caring for your spine from birth. Dehydration of the spinal discs makes the discs less flexible and more prone to injury. Less often the cause can be due to heavy or improper lifting or a traumatic event, such as a fall or other injury to the back or spine.
There are several risk factors that can lead to herniated discs. Excess body weight causes extra stress on the disks in your lower back, sometimes leading to lower back pain. Poor posture, especially while sitting, can also put more stress on the vertebrae and discs in the lumbar area. People with physically demanding jobs that require repetitive lifting, pulling, pushing, bending sideways, and twisting, have a greater risk of many types of back problems, including herniated discs.
There are treatments available if you suffer from herniated discs and want to explore options that let you heal naturally without taking drugs, which can have severe side effects, or having unnecessary surgery. One of the basic foundations of chiropractic care is “vitalism” – recognizing that the human body has an innate ability to heal itself, called Innate Intelligence, which does not rely on symptom treatments like drugs or surgery. Studies have shown that chiropractic care is highly effective in the treatment of herniated discs with no adverse side effects. Your chiropractor will perform a thorough examination of your skeletal system, analyze your health history, and develop the best strategy to not merely relieve your symptoms, but to cure the root cause of your problem. The recommendations from your chiropractor will include a comprehensive care plan that may also include exercises, tractions, lifestyle changes, and other natural methods of care. Chiropractic adjustments align the spine and relieve pressure on the nervous system, restoring normal motion to the spine and allowing the body to heal.
The specifics of your chiropractic care plan are particular to your examination results, your pain level, your overall health and activity levels, and your chiropractor’s best recommendations for care. As every patient should with any treatment plan, ask questions and engage in learning about how your body works and how it breaks down so you can understand how to best take care of it. Get your best results by being an educated, involved member of your health care team.