Have you ever heard of a slipped disk? What about a pinched nerve, a bulging disk? If you’ve never seen a chiropractor for back pain, you may not be familiar with any of these terms, but in fact they are all synonymous with a “herniated,” or ruptured, disk. Doctors may not agree what to call this condition, but its symptoms make it easy to identify.
Disk herniation occurs in the spine, when the inner core of a disk breaks through the fibrous outer membrane and leaks out into the tissue around the spine. Herniated disks most commonly strike in the lower back, or lumbar area, but they can occur anywhere along the spine. This condition is accompanied by extreme pain, which can sometimes spread as far as the legs, causing sciatica. Depending on the location of the herniation, someone suffering from a pinched nerve might also experience muscle weakness in the hands, arms, or legs.
What Causes Disk Herniation?
The best-known cause of herniated disks is strain on the lower back. Unfortunately, strain can be caused by a lot of common factors. Lifting heavy objects, overstretching the spine, and simply aging can all provide a sufficient amount of pressure to rupture a disk. When lifting heavy objects, always keep in mind the adage 'life with your legs, not with your back.' Bending at the knees before lifting a heavy box or piece of furniture rests much of the weight on your legs, rather than at the junction of your pelvis and your fragile spine.
Treatment for Herniated Disks
When it’s an option, most chiropractors will try to treat a herniated disk without surgery. Usually, these treatments consist of physical therapy coupled with pain-relieving medications. Should non-surgical treatments fail, lumber decompression surgery may help alleviate back and leg pain caused by herniation.
To get treatment for your herniated disk, or to learn more chiropractic medicine in the Austin, TX area, call (512) 327-5311 today!