Do you experience sharp pain radiating through your lower back whenever you try to sit comfortably in front of your TV?
Your condition may not be an ordinary back pain due to muscle weakness, but a sign of a herniated lumbar disc.
According to a recent health study, a herniated disc (commonly known as a ruptured disc or slipped disc) happens to 5 to 20 out of 1000 adults annually. The condition occurs more often in people aged 30-50 years old.
Disc herniation occurs when one of your rubbery cushions (discs) in your spinal column degrades or pushes out.
The herniated disc material has a soft-jelly-like center (also called a nucleus). Disc herniation happens when a disc’s center nucleus gets pushed out through a tear in your vertebrae’s annulus (rubbery exterior).
Although the prevalence is significantly low, a slipped disc is a condition that shouldn’t be ignored or paid less attention to.
What does a slipped disc feel like? How can you treat it? Read on to find out!
Do You Think You Have A Slipped Disc?
Discs don’t slip in and out of place, so what is causing all the pain?
Discs have several functions. They help us bend and add support and strength to our spine. Most importantly, they act as a spacer to open up the canal for the nerves to exit the spine and go to all parts of the body.
When a vertebra or “spinal bone” moves out of its proper position and affects the nerves, we call it a “subluxation.”
A subluxation may have many effects on discs; when there is abnormal or too much stress on a disc for prolonged periods or when trauma happens very abruptly, different disc injuries may occur. The most common is a disc bulge, wherein the disc is slightly protruding outside of its normal space and may affect the nerve.
Disc bulges most likely cause quite a bit of pain along with dysfunction of different body systems.
A disc herniation is when the disc has broken through the outer layer; this is what most people confuse with a “slipped disc” and will typically create much more pain than a disc bulge.
Both bulging discs and herniated discs are issues we help a lot of people with here at Cornerstone Family Chiropractic.
Herniated Disc Symptoms: What Does A Slipped Disc Feel Like?
A herniated disc can occur in any part of your spine. That means you may feel pain from your back to your buttocks, thighs, and even your calves.
Here are the signs of a herniated disc in your spinal canal.
- Pain in your lower back (lumbar spine)
- Numbness or tingling sensation in your back, arms, shoulders, hands, legs, or feet
- Back problems, including bending and straightening difficulties
- Weak muscles
- Neck pain
- Pain in the buttocks, legs, or hips (when the herniated disc presses the sciatic nerve)
The Difference Between Spinal Cord Pain and Lumbar Disc Herniation
A painful lower back does not automatically mean you’ve slipped a disc in your spinal cord.
An injury such as a sprain can sometimes cause back pain. You are going to know you’ve got herniated disc if you can feel the following discomforts:
- Pain while sitting for long periods (your slipped discs will experience more strain whenever they are pressed on a spinal nerve root)
- Pain radiating into your leg
- Aggravated pain in your sciatica during specific activities such as bending, lifting, pushing, pulling, coughing, or sneezing
It’s best to see a doctor to be sure of the exact condition of your spine.
Prevention and Treatment or Herniated Discs
Just like other conditions, having an active and healthy lifestyle can prevent you from having a herniated disc in your spinal cord. Here’s how you can prevent having lumbar disc herniation:
Painkillers, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol, can ease the pain. Consult your doctor first and make sure to follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
These are the other treatments that your doctor may recommend:
- Get enough rest (One to two days of bed rest)
- Physical therapy
- Epidural steroid injection to reduce inflammation and ease pain
- Surgical treatment, but this is only in rare and severe cases of slipped disc rupture
Chiropractic Help for Slipped Disc
Scientific and neurologically-based chiropractic care can help your spine adjust and become pain-free from a herniated or bulging disc.
Herniated discs cause inflammation and interference in your spinal nerves. A chiropractor can gently adjust your spine and remove misalignments so the discs will no longer press on a nerve.
The procedure will restore proper nerve function within your system and reduce the inflammation caused by your herniated discs.
Individuals with several other disc conditions are also encouraged to see a chiropractor:
- Disc degeneration (which there are multiple types of degeneration)
- Disc desiccation (most common among smokers and those who live poor lifestyles)
- A disc bulge (a lot of the time mimics a herniated disc but is typically less severe and much easier to heal from).
How Can a Chiropractor Help Soothe Herniated Disc Pain?
Chiropractic procedures are one of the most common ways to treat bulging disc herniation, which is why many people include them in their treatment. However, chiropractor doctors must follow several steps to make sure you get the best possible treatment. Take a look at them on the following list.
Evaluate Your Overall Condition
The first step is to evaluate your overall health to make sure you can be a chiropractic patient without hurting yourself further. To do this, your primary care doctor is going to check your medical history and confirm your bones and muscle strength are in a good state. If you’re not a good candidate, they may recommend surgery to fix your problem, but if everything is okay, they frequently are going to recommend you to visit a chiropractor who will create a therapeutic plan for you.
Perform Chiropractic Techniques
The chiropractor is going to explain to you each step of the treatment plan, which can include one of the following procedures.
- Flexion-distraction techniques. This technique is meant to reduce the pressure on your spine and apply small force pumps to the affected nerves.
- Pelvic blocking treatments. In this technique, doctors use special chiropractic cushions to push the affected nerve away from the disc. Moreover, this treatment can help soothe headaches and other nerve conditions.
The overall goal of these treatments is to slowly pop your disc back into place and away from the affected nerve, as this is going to soothe your back pain and eliminate your bulging disc.
Recommend Additional Treatment Options
Finally, your chiropractor may decide that your case could improve much faster if you go to other specialists, such as massage and laser therapists. Please listen to everything they recommend, as this is going to help you recover much faster and feel much better.
Consult A Chiropractor for Your Slipped Disc Now!
About 90% of slipped disc cases go away within six months. However, if you find your herniated disc pain too excruciating and if it affects your everyday life, seeking chiropractic care is a wise decision.
It is best to be thoroughly evaluated by a skilled and licensed chiropractor. It may even turn out that the discs are perfectly healthy, and it is the subluxation creating or causing your discomfort and pain.
Cornerstone Family Chiropractic can help you with your chiropractic needs. We are a trusted and highly preferred chiropractic facility in Prescott, AZ. Call us today for more information or schedule an appointment with us!
Got any questions about herniated disc procedures? Ask us in the comments section below, and we’ll answer your questions immediately!