What Is a Herniated Disc and How Is It Treated?
Your spinal column is made up of vertebrae separated by shock-absorbent cushions called discs. Like the bones in your spine, your discs are relatively strong, but can still sustain injury or damage, up to and including herniation. If you know or suspect you are suffering from a herniated disc, Houston Spine Wellness of Woodlands, TX can help.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
Spinal discs consist of two basic structures – a gel-like interior called the nucleus and a rubbery exterior casing called the annulus. If an injury or other condition causes a disc to rupture or slip out of place, the annulus may tear and allow a portion of the nucleus to bulge through. This is a herniated disc.
Many herniated discs can cause a variety of different discomforts, up to and including serious back pain, especially if nearby nerves are affected. Others cause only mild symptoms or none at all. They have many possible causes including injury, strain, and general wear and tear associated with aging or certain activities.
What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
Although herniated discs can occur anywhere along the spinal column, they are most common in the lumbar region (or lower back). Symptoms that point to the possibility of a herniation vary according to where along your back it is located, but they usually affect only one side of the body. They include:
- Sharp, radiating, or persistent pain in the extremities – in the legs and buttocks if the herniated disk is in your lower back or the arms and shoulders if it is located higher up.
- Tingling or numbness in affected body parts.
- Otherwise unexplained weakness in muscles controlled by any affected nerves.
It is also worth noting that some people are more susceptible to developing herniated discs than others. Risk factors include genetics, body weight, and whether you smoke. Anyone with a physically demanding job is at an elevated risk as well and should take measures to avoid strain or improper movements when on the job.
The Right Woodlands Chiropractor Can Help
If you think you may be suffering from a herniated disc, you should seek professional care as soon as possible. Only a qualified chiropractor can properly diagnose and treat a herniated disc. He or she can also prevent disc injuries from worsening to the point where they further affect your health or impact your overall quality of life. If you’re in Woodlands, TX and need a chiropractor, Houston Spine Wellness can help. Call or contact us for an appointment today!