Reduce Back Pain with Chiropractic Care for Your Herniated Disc
Did you know that back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide? At Algonquin Chiropractic Center, Dr. Galante treats many sources of back pain. One of the most common is a herniated disc. Read on to learn about the sources, symptoms, and treatments for herniated discs.
What’s a Herniated Disc?
A disc herniation occurs when there’s a problem with one of the spinal discs between the vertebrae. Each one of these discs has an outer layer like cartilage and a soft interior like jelly. A disc becomes herniated when the soft inner part pushes through a tear or rupture of the cartilage surrounding it. This can push on and irritate spinal nerves and can be the cause of sciatica.
Herniated discs can be very painful. Herniated discs occur in the lower back and also in the neck. Thoracic or mid-back disc herniations are not as common.
What Causes a Herniated Disc?
Disc herniation can be caused by a single strain such as lifting a heavy object, or by an injury like a motor-vehicle accident. Many patients don't know what caused their herniated disc. However, some people are more at risk than others.
Here are some examples of factors that increase the risk of a herniated disc:
- Age: As you age, ligaments weaken and disc material degenerates. Due to this degeneration, the disc tissue is not as strong and a disc herniation is more likely to occur. As a result, people aged 35-55 are especially at risk of a herniated disc.
- Degenerative Disc Disease: This common condition is where there’s loss of cushioning and even fragmentation of the disc. As the disc material is worn down, herniation becomes more likely.
- Lifestyle: Your levels of activity can affect the amount of stress on your discs and the rate at which they degenerate. If you live a sedentary lifestyle where you don’t get much exercise, or if you do a lot of heavy lifting or sitting, especially in the morning hours, then you’re at a higher risk of a herniated disc.
What Are the Symptoms of Disc Herniation?
A herniated disc can be a painful condition. Here are the most common symptoms:
- Back and/or Hip Pain: Back pain is the most common symptom of a herniated disc. This includes pain at night that makes it difficult to sleep, increased pain when coughing or sneezing, and additional pain in the morning.
- Arm or Leg Pain: If you have a herniated disc in your lower back, you will most likely feel the pain in your buttocks, thighs, and calves and can go all the way down to your feet and toes. If your herniated disc is in your neck, you will typically feel the pain in your neck, shoulder, arm, and down into the hands and fingers.
- Numbness or Tingling: People with a herniated disc can feel numbness or tingling in the parts of the body where the nerves are being affected by the disc, such as in the arms or legs
- Weakness: Many times, muscles connected to the affected nerves will be weak.
How Do We Treat a Herniated Disc?
For a herniated disc, the last thing you want is too much bed rest which can make your muscles weak and stiff. Sitting may also increase the pain, so avoid prolonged sitting.
At Algonquin Chiropractic Center, Dr. Galante develops individualized treatment plans utilizing the Cox Technic and other proven treatment methods. We keep you away from addictive drugs like opioids when possible and we will do all we can to prevent surgery.
If you believe you may have a herniated disc in Algonquin, IL or have more questions, call us today.