There are a variety of terms used to describe back and spinal pain, such as pinched nerves, bulging discs, and herniated discs. While each of these terms describes a different medical condition, they are used interchangeably to describe spinal pain. A misdiagnosis can be detrimental to both the patient and health care professional, as they work together to rehab the injury. In order to thoroughly understand the mechanics of the spine and injuries associated with it, it is important to understand the details of each diagnosis. Herniated discs occur when there is a problem with one of the discs between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine. This condition can lead to the irritation of nearby nerves, and can result in pain felt in the spine, legs, and arms. While the majority of herniated discs present in the lower back, it can also occur in the neck.
Symptoms and Causes of Herniated Discs
The most common cause of herniated discs is aging and the gradual wear and tear of the discs. As you age, you lose flexibility in your spine due to the spinal discs losing their water content. A lack of flexibility in the spine can lead to an increased risk of a rupture or tear. In addition to age, those with physically demanding jobs that require repetitive lifting and twisting are especially at risk for a herniated disk. One strategy to prevent a herniated disc is to maintain a healthy weight, since extra pounds create increased pressure on the lower back.
While one might assume that a herniated disc would result in back pain, the pain can also be felt in the buttocks, thighs, and calves; this is caused by the connection between individual disks and nerves which run along the spine. The pain can also present as numbness and tingling in various parts of the body. The numbness can eventually lead to the weakening of muscles surrounding the nerve.
In most instances, a chiropractor can diagnose a herniated disc with a physical exam including orthopedic, muscular and neurological testing. They will check a patient’s reflexes, muscle strength, and look for any numbness or pain with reproduction of symptoms. The chiropractor will also examine posture, and may order a MRI and/or X-Ray for additional information.
Green Oaks Spine & Sport offers variety of treatment options to help you heal naturally. While traditional treatment from medical doctors might include invasive surgeries, medications or injections. Active Release Technique providers and chiropractors offer less invasive alternatives that can effectively treat your conditions.
Green Oaks Spine & Sport offers a variety of solutions, such as Active Release Technique, Decompression Therapy, and chiropractic manipulative therapy to alleviate muscular and disc tension, restore biomechanical function and increase range of motion. Research has shown that this type of treatment is a cheaper alternative to surgery, has a shorter recovery time, and has proven to be 70% effective.