Disc Herniation - Let's Review

Sep 07, 2021

Disc herniations occur when a disc, the rubbery cushion between your vertebra, is injured in some way and the nucleus, or center, pushes out through a tear in the annulus, which is the tough circular exterior of the disc. This herniation, which can occur anywhere throughout the spine, can irritate a nearby nerve and lead to pain, numbness, or weakness in the extremities. Herniations in your cervical spine, or neck, lead to these symptoms in your arms while herniations in your lumbar spine, or lower back, lead to symptoms in your legs. Severe symptoms in the lumbar spine can lead to bladder or bowel dysfunction or a condition called saddle anesthesia, which includes the progressive loss of sensation in the inner thighs, back of legs, and area around the rectum. These severe symptoms are a sign to seek emergency medical attention.

Disc herniations are most often the result of wear and tear. As we age, our discs become less flexible and more prone to injury. Due to this, one of the best treatments for disc injuries is prevention. These measures include maintaining good posture to reduce pressure on the spine and discs, mobilizing the spine to hydrate the discs, lifting properly, and exercising to strengthen trunk and core muscles to help stabilize and support the spine.

Chiropractic care and physical therapy are both effective methods in treating acute disc injuries, with studies showing that stabilization exercises and manipulation are effective in treating these injuries. At Arvada Sport and Spine Group, we have found that a collaborative approach between our medical team, physical therapy and chiropractic produces the best results when it comes to treatment. In serious cases, surgery may be necessary, but a 2016 study showed that while surgery produced faster relief from symptoms in the short term, surgery did not show a benefit over conservative treatment in the midterm and long term follow up.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a disc herniation, feel like you may be at risk, or want to improve your mobility and/or posture then contact us at Arvada Sport and Spine Group and let our team help you.

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Category: back pain