You might have heard the phrase “slipped disc” utilized to describe a low back injury. Discs don’t actually “slip”. Instead, they could herniate or bulge from the bones. A herniation is a displaced fragment of the center part or nucleus of the disc which is pushed through a tear on the surface or annulus of the disc. Pain results when irritating substances are from this tear and even when the fragment touches or compresses a nearby nerve. Disc herniation has some similarities to degenerative disc disease and discs that herniate are often within an earlier stage of degeneration. Disc herniations are common in the back or lumbar spine.

What would cause a disc to herniate?

Several factors reduce the strength and resiliency on the disc and boost the risk of disc herniation. Life style choices like smoking, insufficient physical exercise, and inadequate nutrition develop poor disc health. Poor posture, daily wear out, injury or trauma, and incorrect lifting or twisting further stress the disc. When the disc is definitely weakened, it may herniate with a single movement or strain for instance coughing or bending to get a pencil.

How does one know if they have a disc herniation?

Herniated discs are most likely to affect people between 30 and 40. Disc herniations might be present without the presence of pain. The common symptom would be pain on the area of the herniation that could radiate throughout the hips or into the buttocks. You also can experience numbness or pain radiating down your leg to the ankle or foot. If the herniation is big enough, you may notice weakness with extension of your big toe and you may be unable to walk on your toes or heels. In severe cases of lumbar disc herniation, you might experience adjustments to your bowel or bladder function and could have difficulties with sexual function.

How can you treat a disc herniation?

Mild conditions can be treated conservatively with stretching, exercise therapy and and also chiropractic care. More advanced cases usually require some form of spinal decompression, like traction or mechanical decompression, in conjuction with the chiropractic care.

Some times, a herniation may be severe enough to suggest surgical intervention. These cases are often reserved as a final option when other kinds of therapy have failed to cure pain, or if there’s significant compression of the spinal cord or nerves.

Call your chiropractor today at the Back Pain Relief Clinics if you think you may have a disc herniation.