Herniated Disc Diagnosis and Treatment
Back pain can be seriously debilitating and can affect a person's daily life, even to the point where they are no longer able to sit for long periods of time or complete simple tasks. One of the most frequently seen causes of lower back pain is a herniated disc. Here's what you should know and how to get relief from pain caused by this common but excruciating condition.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
In between each vertebrae is a round, flat disc made of cartilage. This provides cushioning between the vertebrae and allows for flexibility. While a bulging disc is a disc that bulges out from the spine and puts pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerve tissue, a herniated disc is where the center of the disc ruptures and leaks highly inflammatory fluid onto nearby nerve tissue, causing severe pain.
Herniated Disc Symptoms
Herniated disc symptoms can vary from person to person, especially in severity. If you have the following symptoms, you may be experiencing pain from a herniated disc.
- Weakness in the legs or arms
- Numbness or tingling in extremities
- Lower back pain
- Pain that radiates down the back of the legs or in the arms
In some cases, a herniated disc will cause no pain, usually if the herniated material from inside the disc is not touching any nerve fibers.
How to Diagnose and Treat a Herniated Disc
The diagnosis and treatment of a herniated disc can be challenging. First and foremost, it is not possible to see a herniated disc on an x-ray, although many doctors will use this test to rule out any other conditions that could be causing pain. CT scans provide clearer images; however, an MRI is most likely to detect herniation in the discs between vertebrae. Another highly accurate test is called a myelogram, where dye is injected into the spinal fluid and can indicate where there is pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves from bulging or herniated discs.
Traditional treatments used for a herniated disc simply work to mask the pain. Pain pills can make a patient feel less pain, while muscle relaxers only serve to relax the muscles surrounding the spine. Neither of these treatments work to correct the root problem.
Contact Our Local Chiropractor for Treatment Today!
Chiropractic care is quickly becoming a widely used treatment for pain caused by herniated discs because it is effective, affordable, and safe. It involves gentle manipulations of the spine, which can take pressure off the spinal cord and help restore the body's natural position to promote internal healing.
If you are suffering from lower back pain that you think may be caused by a herniated disc, don't wait for relief. Contact City Chiropractic today for an appointment with an experienced Portland chiropractor at (503) 224-9513.