Herniated Disc Treatment: Disc herniation is among the most frequent causes of sciatica and back pain. A herniated disc refers to the nucleus pulposus (HNP) or (gel-substance) that breaks through the annulus fibrosus (exterior outer tire-like shell) of an intervertebral disc (spinal shock absorber).
The back consists of several bones vertebrae. Every one of these bones is padded by a disc, which absorbs shock and enables flexibility. An opening can form, and the soft center of the spinal disc comes out. This can irritate the nerves and spinal cord, which causes back pain, numbness, weakness, and arm or leg pain. This injury happens most often in the lower back or the cervical spine. Disc herniation causes:
Most people cannot pinpoint the exact cause of the herniated disc.
Although rare, a traumatic event, i.e., a fall or a blow to the back, can cause a herniated disc.
Most herniated discs occur in the lower back (lumbar spine) and occur in the neck (cervical spine). The most common signs and symptoms of a herniated disc are:
Arm or leg pain: If the herniated disc is the lower back, one will typically feel the most intense pain in the buttocks, thigh, and calf. It may also involve part of the foot. If the herniated disc is in the neck, the pain will typically be most intense in the shoulder and arm. This pain may shoot into the arm or leg when coughing, sneezing, or moving the spine into certain positions.
Numbness or tingling: People who have a herniated disc will often experience numbness or tingling in the part of the body that serves the affected nerves.
Weakness: Muscles that serve the affected nerves tend to weaken. This can cause stumbling or impair the ability to lift or hold items.
One can also have a herniated disc without knowing it. Herniated discs sometimes show up on spinal images of people who have no symptoms of a disc problem.
The spinal cord does not extend into the lower portion of the spinal canal. Just below the waist, the spinal cord separates into a group of long nerve roots (cauda equina) that resemble a horse’s tail. Sometimes, however rarely, disc herniation can compress the entire cauda equina. Emergency surgery may be required to avoid permanent weakness or paralysis.
It’s time to seek emergency medical attention when:
To determine if a herniated disc is causing these symptoms, our therapists will start with a physical exam. They will discuss the current symptoms, evaluate the spine for tenderness and pain. After that, the legs are placed into various positions that can offer insight into what is happening with the spine. If necessary, an MRI can be ordered to confirm the location of the herniated disc and create a baseline image before therapy. This is to identify which nerves are involved, start therapy, track progress and recovery after treatment.
For herniated disc treatment Dr. Alex Jimenez has discovered the treatment that helps.
These approaches provide pain relief, are promising alternatives to our patients, and help prevent back pain and downtime related to back operation.
To help in the prevention a herniated disc treatment:
Home remedies for disc herniation can be effective in relieving pain. Included are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen sodium (Aleve). Also is the application of heat and ice. Alternating heat and ice are very effective for pain relief for many people. Modifying physical activity is also important. This includes avoidance of activities that aggravate pain and may worsen the nerve impingement. Complete inactivity is unnecessary as they hinder recovery, and no movement is not advised.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*
Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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