One of the back conditions that patients routinely visit our chiropractors and physiotherapists for is a herniated disc. This type of injury generally responds well to chiropractic and physiotherapy treatment so it is important to schedule an appointment as soon as symptoms present. Leaving this type of injury can often lead to it becoming a lot worse. Herniated disc treatment can help patients avoid prescription pain medications and surgery depending on the level of herniation.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
Discs are made up of a tough outer layer called the annulus and an inner gel like substance called the nucleus. The annulus is like the tendon in your knee and is thick and strong. A herniated disc refers to a situation where a portion of the annulus of your vertebral disc has been torn. This allows the inner portion of the disc, the nucleus to protrude through the annulus. Herniated discs are sometimes called ruptured discs or slipped discs. The herniated portion of the disc can end up compressing nerves that surround the disc.
A herniated disc is usually a degenerative condition brought on by the wear and tear of stress on the structure over time. The more your discs degenerate they lose moisture content and become less flexible, making them prone to tears and ruptures. Over time the damage builds until eventually a tear occurs.
Usually it happens unexpectedly, like turning around suddenly to pick something up or lifting something that would usually be easy. Some factors that may increase your risk of suffering a herniated disc include being overweight, having a job that requires physical or manual labour, improper lifting in the gym and even genetics.
Common Herniated Disc Symptoms
Many people that have a herniated disc do not realise they have one until there is a sudden onset of intense pain. If your herniated disc is in your lower back, you may feel pain in your buttocks, hips, thighs, and calves. If the problem is in your neck, you’re more likely to feel pain in your shoulders and arms.
Numbness, tingling, and general weakness are also symptoms of a herniated disc. Typically, the muscles and body parts that are innervated by the affected nerves will experience these symptoms.
When to See a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist
If you have had sudden onset of pain with the above symptoms, then make an appointment with Perth Allied Health Clinic as soon as possible. Many of our clients originally presented to our clinic with pain but not actually knowing what was going on.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, or any back pain that has been undiagnosed, our chiro or physio team can assess the issue and formulate an effective treatment plan. Remember that doing nothing will generally result in further degeneration over time. Problems like this may have symptoms come and go, but the underlying cause needs to be addressed to get the best possible outcome.
If you have any more questions, or would like to know more about lumbar disc pain, do not hesitate to contact the team at Perth Allied Health Clinic.