It’s strange to see how many people put all back pain under one single umbrella. But understanding the causes of back pain is very important, not only for treatment but to prevent complications. While it is true that some back issues are benign and can be treated at home, some back conditions could lead to chronic issues if left unchecked.
One of the most common forms of back injury are herniated discs. This type of injury is very common in people who put a lot of stress on their lower back, like athletes and heavy workers. But it is also common in people who are sedentary, heavier or have bad habits, such as smoking, for instance. Let’s take a look at what a herniated disc is exactly, how to know if you may be suffering from one, and what you can do about it.
What is a Herniated disc Exactly?
Our spines are made up of 33 bones in total. Each of these bones is cushioned by discs. These discs are essential to cushioning the pressure when you run, walk, or lift things.
The disc is made up of two major components. The interior of the discs is made up of a gelatinous fluid that does most of the cushioning. The exterior of the disc is made up of cartilage tissue. When an injury occurs, some of the gelatinous fluid inside the disc can protrude, which can cause all sorts of issues. This is what is referred to as a herniated disc.
What are the Clear Signs that I Might Have a Herniated disc?
One of the clearest signs that you may be suffering from a herniated disc is when you feel sharp, intense, and sudden back pain, usually in the lower back. This is usually caused by the disc fluid applying pressure on the spinal cord. In some cases, the pain is so intense that you can’t walk or even stand up. Other signs that you may have a herniated disc is if you have sudden back muscle weakness, numbness on either side of the body, or a burning/tingling sensation around the affected area.
What Can be Done About it?
Well, the first thing you should do is consider working with a chiropractor near you. If you’re around Cincinnati, you’re in luck, as it has some of the best chiropractors in the country.West Chiropractic, a Cincinnati based chiropractor with two locations, will be able to see what your symptoms are and what the proper course of action is.
The treatment for a herniated disc will largely depend on the symptoms and how long they last. Your chiropractor may start by prescribing painkilling medication and asking that you get on an exercise regimen to strengthen your lower back. But, in more severe cases, surgery might be needed.
They might perform a microdiscectomy where only the damaged part of the disc is removed. In other cases, they might replace the damaged disc with an artificial one or remove it completely and fuse the vertebrae together.
Herniated discs and back issues in general are something you should be taking very seriously. If you believe you might be suffering from one, we suggest you speak with a professional today, so they’ll be able to guide you through the right procedure.