You may hear people refer to a bulged, ruptured, or slipped disc, which makes understanding a herniated disc more challenging because these disc-related issues are considered herniated. A herniated disc can occur in any of the listed ways, and it can happen anywhere on the spine. It is part of the disc nucleus that is pushed out of place because of an existing injury of degeneration. The limited space in the spinal column causes the herniation to press against nerves, resulting in pain.
A herniated disc can occur in one of three ways: excessive strain, injury, or degeneration. If you are careless in the way you move and bend, you can create a strain issue; or if you are in a car accident, the force may cause a herniation. The most common cause of a herniated disc is disc degeneration, which is a natural part of aging. However, while most people will not experience any significant pain from typical degeneration, others will.
Patients of a herniated disc rarely experience the same symptoms because they depend on the position of the herniation. Some people will experience little to no pain at all, but others may experience significant pain accompanied by numbness and tingling of the arms or legs. Lower back pain, like sciatica, is a typical result of a herniated disc. Also, cervical radiculopathy, or neck pain, is another common symptom.
Doctors will typically use several diagnostic tools to locate a herniated disc. For instance, standard tests and equipment include x-rays, EMG/NCS, myelogram, MRI, or a CT. A physician generally wants to complete a thorough evaluation of the spinal column and the vertebra before making a final diagnosis.
The treatment of a herniated disc varies depending on the severity and duration of the injury. Your physician may only recommend bed rest and over-the-counter pain medication. However, for a more severe case, prescription drugs or possible surgery may be recommended.
Sometimes surgical intervention and prescription medications are unnecessary. If you feel uncomfortable with drugs and invasive treatments, consider reaching out to a chiropractor. Chiropractors believe in spinal realignment, and they may be able to treat a herniated disc without surgery.
A herniated disc goes by many names, but it stems from injury or degeneration. While doctors are quick to prescribe medicine and surgeries, you may not need either. Schedule an appointment with a local chiropractor, like a chiropractor from Lotus Wellness Center, to discuss your condition and learn if chiropractic therapy is right for your injury.