Herniated Bulging Disc

Pain Relief Treatments for Herniated and Bulging Discs

herniated discOur spines are made up of vertebrae; small bones located in the spine that are separated by spinal discs. Spinal discs have a strong exterior layer and contain a soft jelly-like fluid inside them. This soft interior creates a “sponginess” which can absorb impact and force for the spinal column, while the disc is protected by it’s tough exterior making the disc durable. The discs provide cushion and allow the vertebrae flexibility within the spinal column.

When the spinal disc becomes compromised they become inflamed and swell out, putting pressure on the nerves around the spinal cord. This is known as a slipped or bulging disc and the condition causes pain and discomfort around the back. If the condition of the disc gets worse, the discs can often burst creating a herniation. When the disc becomes herniated it can begin to seep out of the spinal column placing pressure on nearby nerves resulting in pain.  This pain is often felt associated with numbness and weakness in the arms, legs or neck.

In some cases people with herniated discs can be unaware of the condition without feeling much pain,  but most herniated discs are painful. The most common signs and symptoms are listed below:

  • Back Pain – Pain from the disc placing pressure on the nerves.
  • Pain in the rear – Affected discs in the lower back (the most common area) often result in lower back pain and shooting pain through the buttocks area.
  • Weakness – Muscles close to affected nerves can feel weak.

  • Arm or leg pain – Pressure placed on the nerves can cause pain in the legs and arms. If the sciatic nerve is affected pain will arise in the hip and down the leg towards the knee.
  • Numbness or tingling – Many times numbness and slight tingling around the affected area will occur.

Many patients can have trouble finding the root cause of their pain condition, which is why it is important to contact a pain management expert to properly identify the pain. Once the source of the pain has been determined, proper treatment can be applied. Some common causes of herniated disc are:

  • Degenerating disc disease – Gradual aging and wear-and- tear of the disc. Over time the disc becomes weak thus limiting flexibility making them prone to slip out of position or rupture.
  • Improper use of muscles – Lifting heavy objects with the back muscles instead of the legs, or preforming twisting motions with the back.

  • Traumatic impact – Although rare, sometimes the force of impact from an accident or injury can cause the discs in the back to slip or rupture.
  • Repetitive movement – The same movement patterns done over and over can wear down the discs in the back leading to herniation.

The back is an extremely strong muscle, but can also be very delicate. Improper care of the back, injury and lack of proper treatment after injury can lead to life-long pain conditions. To help avoid serious back conditions, patients should take care of their backs and be mindful of posture. Exercises can help strengthen the back muscles. If something does not feel right in the back, it is important to apply ice to the affected area and rest if the back becomes sore or injured.

Disc herniation is a serious condition. Contact Health Star Clinic to ensure the best possible treatment plan!

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