Everything You Need to Know About Herniated Discs
Herniated discs are one of the most common causes for chronic back pain in adults. They are also known as slipped, ruptured, or bulging discs.
Despite their commonality, many people still have questions about this issue. Keep reading to discover what a herniated disc is, what causes it, and how chiropractic services can help.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
The human spine is composed of 26 individual bones known as vertebrae. Between each vertebrae is a soft, rubbery cushion-like pad called a disc. The disc itself is composed of a tougher outer layer and a squishy, jelly-like inner layer.
A herniated disc occurs when the gelatinous inner layer pushes through the outer layer. Though it is a common misconception, the disc itself does not move.
Some people can experience this injury with little to no pain. In these cases, the body will likely heal itself within a couple of weeks or months. For others, the slipped disc can cause painful inflammation.
If the protrusion pushes against a nerve, the patient may experience debilitating pain which prevents them from living life to the fullest. They may experience limited mobility and radiating pain down the arms or legs. Other symptoms include weakness, numbness, and a pins and needles sensation.
What Causes a Herniated Disc?
It is natural for our discs to lose water and shrink as we age. Constant wear over time can cause them to degenerate. This makes them more prone to acute injury.
People between the ages of 35 and 55 are at most risk for a herniated disc.
It is also common to rupture a disc by lifting heavy objects with incorrect technique. Lifting from the lower back and not with the legs, for example, can cause this injury. Twisting while lifting is also not recommended.
Other risk factors include:
- Prolonged sitting
- Driving often
- Physically demanding occupations
How Are Herniated Discs Treated?
It is not common for someone with a herniated disc to need surgery.
Typically, the body can heal the injury by itself, and therefore treatment often focuses on the symptoms.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, for example, can be recommended for short-term relief. But the pain will likely flare up quite often.
Prescription pain relievers may also be available to patients with herniated discs. But for those looking for a non-invasive, non-addictive, long-lasting solution to back pain caused by herniated discs, we recommend chiropractic services.
Chiropractors specialize in spinal alignment which relieves pressure and reduces inflammation in the affected area. They form individualized treatment plans for your injury and can also provide specific lifestyle advice to help it heal.
Trusted Chiropractic Services in Frederick, Maryland
Are you suffering from a painful herniated disc? Lipinski Chiropractic in Frederick, Maryland, can help. Our experienced licensed chiropractor specializes in holistic chiropractic wellness. Call today to schedule an appointment!