Herniated discs refer to damage that occurs to the outer layer of a spinal disc, causing the internal gel to bulge or leak out of the disc. This puts pressure on the nerve root causing pain. Herniated discs can occur anywhere in the spine but are most commonly found in the lower lumbar region of the spine or the neck. The signs and symptoms of a herniated disk can be a pain in the legs or arms, numbness or tingling, and weakness in the muscles. Some herniated discs can show no signs only to show up in a scan of the spine later on.
Disc herniation is most often caused by disc degeneration, a gradual, age-related wear, and tear to the discs of the spine. As you age, those discs lose some of their water content making them less flexible and more prone to damage, such as rupturing, with even a minor strain. Herniated discs are rarely the result of a traumatic event, but more likely are caused by lifting heavy objects with improper form or twisting sharply. Other factors that can increase your risk of a herniation are excess body weight which causes stress on the low back or an inherited genetic disorder.
There are a number of treatments available for herniated discs. Dr. Pinto may recommend a course of physical therapy, avoiding painful positions and following a planned exercise regimen to strengthen the muscles in the back and legs. These regular exercises can not only reduce pain but may also help to prevent the pain from coming back.
Herniated discs also respond positively to spinal adjustments. Spinal adjustments help realign the vertebrae, so the space between the bones can accommodate the disc as it slides back into place. If you’re suffering from a painful herniated disc, call or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Pinto at Advanced Wellness of Westfield.
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