Back issues are unfortunately very common, and sometimes they can be very serious. If you’re looking for North Lauderdale herniated disc treatment, Specific Care Chiropractic has a team of dedicated professionals to help you find pain-free health using preventative care and rehabilitation.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated (or slipped) disc involves a specific injury to your backbone or spine. The basic definition of a hernia is an organ or tissue breaking through a weak spot in another mass of tissue or through a muscle. The series of bones in your spine are called vertebrae, and discs are the soft, cushioning tissue between them that absorb shock from daily activities like walking, twisting, or lifting.
Every disc has two parts: a tough outer ring and a softer, gelatinous center that is protected by the hard, outer barrier. If the center of the disc comes through the outer ring, or when any part of the disc tears, slips out, or leaks, we call this a herniated disc.
What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc can result in a variety of symptoms depending on where the injury has occurred and how the hernia is impacted. Usually, you will experience symptoms on one side of the body more than the other.
A herniated disc will commonly cause soreness, shooting pains, limited mobility around the site of the injury, and even limited mobility down your entire back or neck. If a spinal nerve is compressed by surrounding tissue or outlying vertebrae during the injury, you may experience numbness, tingling, or other painful sensations that tend to spread along that nerve.
Though these can vary, some common symptoms of a slipped or herniated disc are:
- Pain and numbness on one side of the body
- Pain that extends along your extremities (arms and legs)
- Pain that gets worse at night or when you move a certain way
- Pain that worsens when you stand or sit
- Pain after walking short distances
- Unexplained muscle weakness or fatigue
- Tingling/pinpricks, aching, or burning sensations around the affected area
- Radiating numbness originating from the site’s injury
- Pain in the neck or shoulders that shoots to outer extremities
- Back pain when coughing or sneezing
What Causes a Herniated Disc?
Usually, a herniated disc is caused by the outer ring of the disc becoming weaker or torn, which allows the inner portion to leak out. As you get older, your discs lose water content, which means that they are more likely to tear or move out of place as they become less lubricated. Age can be a determining factor in whether you will experience a herniated disc, but so can other things.
Jerking motions or specific movements like twisting or turning when lifting an object can cause a disc to slip out of place. Lifting heavy objects or putting any kind of strain on your back can also cause a hernia. This also means being overweight is a contributing factor because your back must support the extra weight. Related to this, you are more likely to get a herniated disc if you are sedentary or find yourself sitting or lifting heavy objects frequently.
Other risk factors that are more likely to cause a herniated disc are:
- Your gender (men are more likely to get a herniated disc)
How to Diagnose a Herniated Disc
Your doctor will perform a physical examination of your back to locate the injured site. They will look for the source of your discomfort and check nerve function and muscle strength. Knowing when you first noticed the injury or when it feels worse can help indicate if a disc has slipped.
Your doctor can also perform a CT scan or other soft-tissue imaging scans to help diagnose, including x-rays or MRIs. This will help give a clear view of your spinal cord, back muscles, and bones. Myelograms or EMGs are also available, which can test the electrical impulses of your nerves and an examination of the spinal cord and its surrounding tissues.
North Lauderdale Herniated Disc Treatment Options
Most hernias do not heal on their own and require therapies, surgery, and other treatments to heal. Your doctor’s first attempt will be to treat the herniated disc without surgery. The first step will be to avoid rigorous activity to help the inflammation decrease. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory meds may also accompany this light activity.
Surgical intervention may be necessary in severe cases that severely impact movement or cause lots of pain. In this case, the surgeon may remove the part of the disc that is protruding or remove the disc entirely.
Physical therapy is almost always recommended. At Specific Care Chiropractic, your chiropractor will determine what treatment plan will work best and may involve:
- Gentle massage
- Ice and heat application
- Electrical muscle stimulation (E-STIM) therapy
- Stretching and rehabilitation exercises
- Chiropractic care
What to Expect from Your Treatment With Specific Care Chiropractic in North Lauderdale
A physiotherapy specialist at one of our clinics will work with you to come up with an effective plan to treat your herniated disc and minimize your pain. We focus on alleviating symptoms through exercises and stretching. Your treatment plan will depend on where the herniated disc is, how severe your pain is, and what movements you can perform without pain.
We work through a series of appointments, starting with a diagnostic and consultation service. On your first visit, we will perform a physical exam and run diagnostic testing. At your second appointment, we go over the results of those tests and come up with your personalized treatment plan. Any following appointments will involve follow-ups regarding your treatment, corrective care, and pain management.
We offer these kinds of physical therapy for patients dealing with herniated discs:
- Chiropractic spinal manipulation and adjustment
- Electrical muscle stimulation therapy
- Rehabilitation exercises
Contact Our Office for an Appointment
If you’re looking for chiropractic treatment for your herniated disc in the North Lauderdale area or just have questions about our treatment plans, feel free to call and schedule an appointment with our office today. Contact us at (239) 369-9109. Specific Care Chiropractic has a team of dedicated North Lauderdale herniated disc treatment specialists.