A herniated disc is when there is a problem one of the discs between vertebras that make your spine. The discs serve as rubbery cushions and the vertebrae are individual bones; the spinal disc has been described as a jelly donut with a soft center that has a tough exterior surrounding it. When this disc slips or ruptures and pushes through a crack in the vertebra, it is called a herniated disc. Unfortunately, a herniated disk can also cause problems with nearby nerves and can cause pain, as well as numbness and weakness in an arm or leg. It is typical for a herniated disc to cause a lot of pain for some people, and literally no symptoms for others.
Symptoms of a herniated disc
Surprisingly, many people have a herniated disc and do not even know it. Sometimes it shows up after having a spinal image taken for a completely unrelated reason. When there are symptoms, they often vary based on where the herniated disc is located. Symptoms can occur in the lower back and neck.
Here are some common signs and symptoms of a herniated disc:
- Leg pain. If you herniated disc happens in your lower back, you will probably experience intense pain in your buttocks, thigh and leg (below the knee).
- Arm pain. If your herniated disc is in your neck, you will likely have pain in your shoulder and arm.
- Numbness or tingling. Often, when people have a herniated disc they experience numbness or tingling where the nerves are affected.
- Weakness. A herniated disc can cause muscles near the affected nerves tend to weaken, causing weakness.
Be sure to see a doctor immediately if you have neck or back pain that travels into your arm or leg. Also, contact your doctor if there is also numbness, tingling or weakness.
What causes a herniated disc?
Often a herniated disc is caused by disc degeneration—gradual, age-related wear and tear. Spinal discs lose water content with age, making them less flexible and prone to tearing or rupturing easily. Typically, people are not able to determine the exact cause of the problem. Sometimes, lifting heavy objects can lead to a herniated disc. Sometimes, a fall can cause a herniated disc.
A chiropractor can help with a herniated disc
Thankfully, there is relief from herniated discs. A chiropractor can offer effective treatment. Often a chiropractor will order an x-ray or MRI to properly diagnose a herniated disc. If they decide that you do have a herniated disc, the type of injury will help an experienced chiropractor at ChiroCarolina® in Charlotte NC determine the course of treatment.
Chiropractors can help with most herniated disc injuries. If you are a good candidate for chiropractic care, a chiropractor typically will use gentle low-force treatment to help relieve pain. If your chiropractor decides that they are not able to you provide treatment, they will recommend a medical doctor who can offer alternative treatment options.
Do you think you have a herniated disc? Or, have you been going to a doctor for treatment but still not finding relief? Call ChiroCarolina® today and find out how they can help with treatment for your herniated disc!
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