What a chiropractor can do for your herniated disc?
The intervertebral discs in your spine are thin, oblong structures, which provides cushions for the bones in your back, also known as vertebrae. Each disc is made up of a soft gel, surrounded by a tough outer shell. This structure allows the back to flex, bend, compress, twist, and turn without pain or injury. However, in some individuals a disc’s outer shell can develop a small tear or weak area. When this occurs, part of the disc’s inner gel can start to protrude out of its normal position, causing what known as a herniated disc.
Causes of herniated discs
A herniated disc or slipped disc is a degenerative condition; it is most common in middle aged or older adults. Natural wear and tear, and normal aging causes the discs in your back to become less flexible and more rigid. This increases the risk of developing a tear or weaknesses in the discs without a lot of stress being placed on them. There are certain factors that may increase your risk of developing a herniated disc. This includes being overweight, improper lifting, genetics, poor posture, and a physically demanding job.
Symptoms of herniated discs
The most common symptom of a herniated disc is intense pain. The location of the pain can vary depending on where the disc has herniated. For example, a herniated disc in the lower back or lumbar region would result in pain in the buttocks, hips, thighs, and calves. A slipped disc in the thoracic region can often cause vague or misleading symptoms. There may be pain, weakness or numbness in the upper back, lower back, chest, and legs. If the slipped disc has occurred near the cervical vertebrae, pain and/or numbness would be felt closer to the shoulders, arms, chest, and fingers.
A herniated disc may also press on nearby nerves, which causes a whole set of additional problems such as numbness, muscle weakness, and pain. According to Harvard Health (https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/herniated-disk-a-to-z), in very severe cases herniated discs can even press on nerves that control the bladder and bowel resulting in loss of bowel control and urinary incontinence.
How can a chiropractor help you?
Recovering from a herniated disc can be difficult. A herniated disc treatment plan from a chiropractor can help you avoid overuse of prescription pain medications and all of the side effects that come along with them. Prolonged inactivity can promote deconditioning; therefore consulting with a chiropractor as soon as possible to start an exercise regimen that is appropriate for you and your condition is important for healing. Chiropractors are trained in providing treatment plans to help manage pain and heal injuries in a holistic manner. If you want to avoid taking prescription pain medications and you are ready to fix the cause of the injury consider a consult with a chiropractic doctor trusts who can offer the proper therapy and care to help ease your herniated disc.