What is a Herniated Disc?

Herniated disc are called protruding, bulging, ruptured, prolapsed, slipped, torn or degenerated discs. There are fine distinctions between these terms, but all really refer to a disc that is no longer in its normal condition and/or position. Herniated discs cause pain by impinging on (intruding upon, irritating, and pinching) and even injuring nerves in the spinal column.

Spinal discs have a fairly tough outer layer with a soft interior to cushion against the shocks and strains experienced as you move and put various stresses on your spine. The discs are subject to injury, disease, and degeneration with use over time.

A herniated lumbar disc can send pain shooting down through your buttock and thigh into the back of your leg (sciatica). Bulging disc patients may have pain that travels into different parts of the body. Often they will demonstrate a limitation movement and they might lean to one side to relieve the pain.

A cervical disc herniation causes pain in the shoulder, arm, and hand. Herniated discs can cause muscle weakness, make it hard to get up when you've been sitting or lying down, cause pain when you strain to do something, even when you cough or sneeze. They sometimes produce pain in the lower right side of the abdomen. Herniated discs can also affect nerves to the bladder and bowel, causing incontinence. This symptom signals the need for immediate, emergency attention.

There is broad acceptance among healthcare professionals and the public of the recommendation that the pain from herniated discs be initially treated conservatively. That is, as long as there are no signs (such as severe pain, numbness, or functional impairment from nerve involvement) of the need for more invasive treatment, two or three months of therapy would be the best choice before considering to spinal surgery or shots of analgesics (painkillers) in your back.

Symptoms of Herniated Disc

It is important to seek a healthcare provider if you have any of these following symptoms:

  • Intense pain local in low back or travels down arm / leg.
  • Increased pain with sneezing or bending low-back.
  • Loss of function and increase muscle tightness.

Causes of Herniated Disc

Some causes of foot pain include, but are not limited to:

  • Age.
  • Wear and tear throughout life.
  • Obesity.
  • If you have a strenuous occupation.
  • Genetics

Treatment of Herniated Disc

Herniated discs can get progressively worse if untreated, it is important to treat it via:

  • Massage therapy.
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Chiropractic rehabilitation
  • Acupuncture.
  • Rest.
  • Medication (consult a doctor).
  • Surgery (consult a doctor).
  • Yoga.

Preventing Herniated Discs

Some preventative measures include:

  • Maintain proper form when doing activities
  • Have good posture.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Stretch after long periods of being sedentary.
  • Regulate your body weight.

If you suffer from a herniated disc and want a natural approach to health, we can help. Our Mississauga clinics have an approach to better health.