Have you ever experienced back pain that shoots down your leg, causing your everyday activities to become more difficult or even intolerable? One cause of this extreme back pain is a herniated disk, which can also be called a slipped disk or a ruptured disc. Your spine is made of bones that are cushioned by small oval pads of cartilage or disks consisting of a tough outer layer with a soft inner layer.
Patients in Attleboro, when a herniated disc occurs, a small portion of the nucleus pushes out through a tear in the annulus into your spinal cord. The result is irritation of a nerve and also pain, numbness or weakness in your back as well as your leg or arm. With conservative treatment, a herniated disk can generally get better and surgery is often deemed unnecessary.
When a disc between two bones in the spine presses on the nerves around the backbone, it is called a herniated disc. Herniate means to bulge or stick out, which can sometimes be called a ruptured or slipped disc. Herniated discs are most common in the lumbar spine, which is the lower part of your backbone between the bottom of your ribs and your hips.
As your disc degenerates from age or injury, the softer portion can rupture through the surrounding outer ring. The most common location for a herniated disc to occur is in the disc at the level between the fourth and fifth lumber vertebrae in the lower back. This area constantly absorbs the impact of bearing weight on your upper body, especially when standing or sitting. The lower back can also be critically involved is our body’s movements throughout the day.
Disc herniation is most often caused by age-related wear and tear called degeneration of the discs. As you age, your spinal discs lose some of their water content, which makes them less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing with even a minor strain or twist. Often, you may not be able to pinpoint the exact cause of your herniated disc, and sometimes using your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift large, heavy objects can lead to a herniated disc.
A herniated disc in your lower back can cause pain and numbness in the buttock and down your leg. If the herniated disc is not pressing on a nerve, you may feel a mild backache or no pain at all. When the herniated disc does press on a nerve, pain is created in addition to numbness and weakness in the area of your body where the nerve travels.
To help prevent a herniated disc, Dr. Jason Miller offers the following advice:
If you experience pain in your back or suffer from a recent injury that causes you pain, it is important to visit our chiropractor in Attleboro, MA at Miller Chiropractic Health Center for proper consultation. Dr. Jason Miller will be able to diagnose and treat your symptoms successfully.
How long have you been experiencing back pain? Share your answers by leaving a comment below!