A Basic Guide To Understanding Herniated Disc A Basic Guide To Understanding Herniated Disc

If you have been experiencing back pain, neck pain or even pain in your arms and legs, you may have a herniated disc. Herniated disks can happen without warning – for example, if you have been in a car wreck or suffered a slip and fall. Herniated discs can also develop over an extended period of time due to bad posture, imbalanced hormones or even because of a genetic pre-disposition.

But what is a herniated disc? Can you self diagnose? And once you know you have a herniated disc, what are your options?

Your spinal column contains vertebrae and spinal discs. The spinal discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae. The discs contain a soft center. If this soft center ruptures or bulges through the wall of the disc, you have a herniated disc.

There are actually many terms for these kinds of injuries, including herniated disc, slipped disk, ruptured disk, and bulging disk. The bottom line: one or more of your spinal discs is damaged.

When a spinal disc is herniated, you can have various pain problems. In some cases, a nerve gets pinched, causing arm and leg pain. While many herniated discs are minor enough that they heal on their own, some people face chronic back and neck pain. If the herniated disc is quite severe, your doctor may advise you to consider surgery. Yet you can also look for non-surgical treatments, including chiropractic care and decompression of the disc.

Your chiropractor will start with an overview of your health and will look for several things.

Are your reflexes intact?

Is there loss of muscle strength?

Is there loss of sensation along the nerve path?

He will also look carefully at your posture, using x-rays as necessary to pinpoint the exact problem.

For most patients, disc injuries are related to a herniated disc, and your chiropractor can provide various treatment options and adjustments to relieve your pain and other symptoms.

For a few, your disc injury may be so severe its beyond the help of your chiropractor. If you are experiencing loss of strength, sensation, reflexes or other unusual findings, a spine surgeon may be more appropriate.

In either case, the key to relief is getting in and finding a solution that works for you as quickly as possible.

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