Spinal disc herniation, aka “slipped disc,” is a rising cause of low back pain. Many people predispose themselves to this type of injury and are not aware of it. Activities such as prolonged sitting, bending, lifting, and twisting are all positions that put the disc at risk for injury. Fortunately, many of us perform these motions throughout each day with little to no trouble. But the progression of disc herniation develops over time. Talk to www.drnathanbridger.com today
In many cases the pain suddenly occurs with the smallest of movements. And unfortunately the severity of pain does not necessarily correlate to the degree of injury. This is due to the fact certain parts of the disc have pain sensation and other regions do not. It’s cited as many as 30% of the general population has a herniated disc with little or no pain/symptoms. Others have minor tears to the disc with excruciating pain.
To understand the pathology of disc herniation we must first look at the anatomy. Each disc consists of a soft ‘jelly-like’ interior (light blue) and is surrounded by dense connective tissue (dark blue) to hold it together. This can be seen in the picture provided. Repetitive motions, such as those listed previously, wear down the outer layer. As a result, the interior begins to work its way outward resulting in a disc bulge. Disc herniation occurs when the inner material fully escapes outward from the disc. The escaped material from the disc can put pressure on the spinal nerves (as shown). When this occurs you may experience pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness of the arms or legs. Many cases of sciatica are due to herniated discs in the low back.
Discovering the source of the arm/leg pain is important in establishing a treatment plan. Effectively treating the problem at the spinal level will alleviate the arm/leg pain. Our treatment focuses on removing pressure from the disc on the nerve. By performing various joint manipulations and physical therapy procedures we are able to reduce a patient’s pain and symptoms. Most patients experience rapid improvement of symptoms with treatment but full resolution of the condition can take some time. All patients are shown a core strengthening routine to support the low back. This aids in preventing the condition from returning. I always tell my patients resolution of a disc herniation largely depends on their dedication to their rehabilitation routine. Being consistent with the exercises and avoiding aggravating factors are crucial in faster recovery.
As with any condition, you should talk to your doctor to determine which treatment approach is right for you. We would love to sit down and discuss the source of your low back pain. Call us today and ask to schedule