A herniated disc is when one of the discs between the vertebrae in your spine experiences a problem. These discs have a soft center and tough exterior and when they are herniated, some of the softer center will push out into the tough exterior. This is also called a ruptured or slipped disk. Some people won’t have any symptoms with a herniated disc while others will experience weakness, numbness, or pain in a leg or arm.
The majority of herniated discs happen in the lower back but some affect the neck. Although symptoms can vary, the most common include:
- Pain in the legs or arms. Leg pain is more common when the herniated disc is within the lower back while arm and shoulder pain is more frequent when the affected disc is in the neck. You may notice the pain shooting if you move certain ways.
- Tingling or numbness in the body.
- Muscle weakness. Sometimes, this can make it hard to hold objects or cause stumbling.
Risk Factors And Causes
Typically, disc herniation occurs because of wear and tear related to aging. It may also happen if you lift heavy objects incorrectly or rarely if you experience trauma to the disc. Those who are overweight, have physically demanding jobs, or have a genetic predisposition are at a higher risk.
Our team of chiropractors can work with you to reduce the pain associated with your herniated disc. In most cases, combining exercises with pain medication will be an effective treatment. Medications to treat disc herniations include nerve pain medications, narcotics, cortisone injections, muscle relaxers, and over-the-counter pain medications. In addition to the chiropractic therapy, we may suggest applying ice or heat, traction electrical stimulation, ultrasounds, or using a brace in the short term.