Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek out the care of a chiropractor, and it accounts for countless hours of lost work hours in America. It can range in severity from mild to severe, and interfere with the enjoyment of our daily lives, from gardening to exercising to lifting our children. Herniated disc syndrome is a common cause of back pain, and while the diagnosis of a herniated disc can be frightening, the good news is that chiropractic adjustments and decompression can relieve much if not all of the pain and discomfort it causes.
In recent years, the treatment of herniated discs has dramatically improved the quality of life for patients.
What is a Herniated Disc?
The vertebra in our spines are separated by spongy discs that act as shock absorbers, and the discs have a soft inner layer and harder outer layer. But sometimes due to factors such as repetitive strain from a manual labor job, playing sports, particularly contact sports such as football, poor posture, and aging, the outer layer of the disc can break down, allowing the inner layer to spill out.
The disc loses its shape and can press on the nerves that run down the spine, causing pain in discomfort.
What are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
When a herniated disc compresses a nerve, it causes pain that radiates into the limbs. If the affected disc is in the cervical spine – the vertebra through the neck – the pain will be felt through the shoulders and down the arms and even into the hands. If the injured disc in the lumbar spine in the lower back, the pain will be felt through the buttocks and hips, down the legs and into the feet.
The pain from a compressed nerve caused by a herniated disc varies from person to person but can be felt as numbness, aching pins and needs, or a sharp pain like an electric shock. Sometimes the limb affected loses strength. A compressed nerve in the lumbar spine can lead to lack of bladder control.
What Causes Herniated Discs?
The most common causes are repetitive motion, poor posture, and aging. Continual stress on the spine from a job that requires bending and lifting, contact sports such as football, or even the repetitive motion of running can cause a herniated disc.
Poor posture can lead to a herniated disc due to the poor alignment of the spine.
And the discs in our spine naturally break down over time, drying and cracking as we age.
How to Treat a Herniated Disc?
Despite popular opinion, a herniated disc can be treated without surgery, drastically improving the quality of life. If you suffer from herniated disc syndrome in Farmington Hills, MI., your chiropractor will prescribe a treatment course that will include gentle adjustments and spinal manipulations to realign your spine and take the pressure off the nerves, plus a stretching and strengthening program to prevent further deterioration of the disc.