Herniated discs (also known as ruptured or slipped discs) are one of the most common causes of back pain. Discs have a hard outer surface and a soft fluid center, acting as cushions between the vertebrae in the spine. When a disc becomes brittle or cracks from trauma or wear and tear from the normal aging process, it can leak fluid, known as herniation. Herniated discs are most common in the lower back (lumbar spine), but they also occur in the neck (cervical spine). Slipped discs are generally painful, but do not always cause symptoms. Dr. Jason Miller, a chiropractor in Attleboro, MA, offers a number of diagnostic and treatment options for back pain and injuries.
Herniated Disc Diagnosis and Treatments in Attleboro, MA
There are a number of risk factors for disc herniation, but in many cases the cause is unknown. Trauma or impact from an accident or fall can cause a healthy disc to rupture, but often discs naturally become more brittle and prone to cracking with age. Lifestyle factors like smoking and being overweight/obese can put additional strain and pressure on the discs and increase the risk of herniation.
The most common risk factors for disc herniation include:
- Degenerative disc disease - when the discs progressively weaken and become brittle with age
- Genetics/family history
- Being obese/overweight
- Working in a physically strenuous occupation/repetitive motions that put strain on the back
Ruptured discs can impact the surrounding nerves, causing symptoms like numbness, tingling and pain in the affected area. Slipped discs in the lumbar spine typically cause symptoms in the buttocks, thighs, and sometimes feet; cervical herniated discs generally cause symptoms in the shoulders and arms.
Treatment options depend on the location and severity of your condition. In many cases, conservative treatments like over the counter pain relievers, rest, ice, and physical therapy are sufficient. Other treatment options include prescription medications, and chiropractic treatment, massage and electrotherapy. Herniated discs can be diagnosed through a physical exam or diagnostic imaging tests such as MRI.
Find a Chiropractor in Attleboro, MA
Back pain does not have to interfere with your quality of life. For more information about treatment options for a herniated disc, contact Miller Chiropractic Health Center by calling (508) 226-2333 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Miller today.