You’ve probably heard individuals say they have a “slipped” or “burst” disc in the back. Often they complain that their back “headed out”. What they’re most likely describing is a herniated disc. This condition is a typical source of back and leg discomfort.
Discs are soft cushions found in between the vertebrae that comprise the spine (your backbone). In the middle of the spinal column is the spine canal, a hollow space which contains the spinal cord. The nerves that supply the arms, leg, and torso come from the spinal cord. The nerves from the neck supply the hands and arms, and the nerves from the low back supply the butt and legs. The discs between the vertebrae permit the back to move freely and act like shock absorbers.
The disc is comprised of 2 primary sections. The external part (the annulus) is comprised of tough cartilage that is consisted of series of rings. The center of the disc is a jelly-like compound called the nucleus pulposus. A disc ruptures or herniates when part of the jelly center pushes through the outer wall of the disc into the spinal canal, and puts pressure on the nerves. A disc bulge is when the jelly substance presses the outer wall but does not entirely go through the wall.
The most typical sign of a herniated disc is “sciatica”. This is most often triggered by pressure on the sciatic nerve that exits the spine cable.
– Weakness in one leg or both legs
– Numbness and tingling in one leg (pins & & needles).
– A burning discomfort focused in the low back.
– Loss of bladder or bowel control (look for medical attention immediately).
– Back pain with gradually increasing leg discomfort.
( If you have weak point in both legs. Look for immediate attention.).
Your medical history is key to a correct diagnosis. A physical exam can generally determine which nerve roots are impacted (and how seriously). An easy x-ray might reveal evidence of disc or degenerative spinal column modifications. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is usually the best alternative (most expensive) to figure out which disc has herniated.
As we become older (after the age of 30), the water content reduces, so the discs start to shrink and lose their shape. As the disc loses water content the disc itself becomes less flexible.
While aging, excess weight, improper lifting and the reduction in water in the discs all contribute to the breaking down of discs, the primary reason for a herniation or bulge is irregular compression and torsion that’s put on the discs.
This irregular pressure is triggered by imbalances in muscles that pull the spine out of it’s typical position and then your body is required to work in what I call a physical dysfunction. Every human being develops these dysfunctions gradually and ultimately they cause enough damage to create pain.
When it concerns dealing with a herniated disc, there are traditional treatments such as ice/heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, cortisone injections, anti-inflammatory medications and even surgical treatment. While these may provide some relief, it will generally be short-lived if at all.
The major issue with these standard treatments is that they can’t repair or recover a herniated disc as they do not deal with the actual cause of the problem. For example, even if you were to have a surgical treatment and get some discomfort relief, the reality is the dysfunctions that caused the disc to herniated in the very first location are still there and if not addressed, they will continue to place unequal pressure and pressure on the discs and sooner or later you will likely have another problem with that disc, or others.
Without determining and attending to the underlying cause of the issue, which is the physical dysfunctions brought on by imbalances in muscles, you will likely continue to suffer with this condition and the constant flare ups for many years.
The majority of medical professionals, chiropractic doctors and physical therapists do not spend time or focus on determining the physical dysfunctions that are responsible for the condition so a lot of people end up jumping from one worthless traditional treatment to the next and suffer for months or years unnecessarily.
If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc, or are wondering if your pain in the back may be brought on by a herniated disc, either way you need to recognize and resolve the physical dysfunctions that are causing your pain.
What they’re most likely explaining is a herniated disc. The discs in between the vertebrae allow the back to move easily and act like shock absorbers.
A disc herniates or bursts when part of the jelly center presses through the outer wall of the disc into the back canal, and puts pressure on the nerves. The most typical sign of a herniated disc is “sciatica”. As the disc loses water material the disc itself becomes less flexible.
Dr. Josh Knotts provides care for the residents in and around Tulsa Oklahoma. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Knotts, call us at 918-409-2774.