In between the vertebrae in your spinal column, you have rubbery discs that cushion your bones. These discs are encased in a ring of ligament fibers. However, sometimes the discs can rupture through the fibers and cause what's known as a herniated disc (or slipped disc). Herniated discs can cause back pain that radiates out to arms and legs. Sometimes slipped discs can cause muscle weakness and pinched nerves.
If you notice that your back pain doesn't get better with rest or it worsens when sitting or standing, you should see a doctor so that he or she can check for a herniated disc.
How is the Condition Diagnosed?
You may also be required to do a physical exam where the doctor will test:
- Your range of motion in your legs and arms
- Your natural gait
- Your reflexes
- How sensitive or tender your back is to touch
Your doctor may order a series of imaging tests to pinpoint the exact disc in your spinal column that is causing the issue.
What Causes Herniated Discs?
There is no one cause for herniated discs. For example, people with highly physical jobs could develop this condition if they perform repetitive spinal-twisting actions without proper form. If you injure your back, like in a car accident, you could also develop this condition.
As people get older, they are prone to this condition because ligaments and discs naturally weaken with age. People who are overweight and very sedentary can develop slipped discs because of extra pressure on the spinal column.
How Can You Treat a Herniated Disc?
Contact a chiropractor in your area for information on herniated disc treatments. Your chiropractor can perform manipulations so that the disc is eased back into its natural position. If the herniated disc is compressing a nerve, a chiropractic adjustment can be beneficial since it may relieve pressure on the root nerve. You can reduce numbness, muscle weakness, and neuropathy with an adjustment. Your chiropractor might perform spinal traction, which also alleviates pressure on nerves.
Along with chiropractic treatment, your doctor might recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to relieve any pain and swelling in your back. If your doctor says that it is safe, he or she might also recommend gentle physical therapy so that you can strengthen your back and relax any guarded muscles around the herniated disc.
Don't let your back pain get worse; contact a professional in your area today about herniated disc treatments.