What Is a Herniated or Bulging Disc?
A herniated disc, also known as a bulging disc, ruptured disc, or pinched disc is one of the most common causes of back pain. Although a herniated disc most often occurs in the back it can be a source of pain in the neck, as well as a cause for sciatica (leg pain).
A spinal disc is the rubbery cushion between your vertebrae that make up your back and neck. A herniated disc occurs when the soft jelly-like center of a spinal disc tears or breaks through the the outer wall of the disc.
Think of your disc as a jelly donut which has a soft center surrounded by a tougher outer core. A weakening or tear in the outer core allows some of the jelly-like center to slip out. As it pushes on nearby nerves it can cause a significant amount of pain in the back or neck depending upon the location of the disc herniation.
What Causes a Herniated Disc
A herniated disc can be caused by years of wear and tear on your disc or an injury such as a slip and fall or auto accident. Due to a weakening in the disc wall, certain motions such as bending or twisting, or lifting a heavy object can cause a disc to herniate.
Due to the increased weight, the discs must support, being overweight can also increase the risk of a herniated disc.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people 35-45 years old and up are more likely to suffer from a herniated disc because of the loss of protective water content as you age making the disc less flexible and more prone to strain.
What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
A herniated disc can occur either in the back or neck. A disc herniation in the back may affect your legs or feet whereas a herniated or bulging disc in the neck may affect the arms or hands. The pain most often occurs on one side of the body.
Symptoms of a herniated or bulging disc include:
- Back pain or neck pain
- Numbness & tingling pain in the legs and feet or arms and hands
- Pain extending down arms and/or legs (Sciatica)
- Muscle weakness in arm or leg
- Burning sensations
- Pain that worsens after standing or sitting
- Pain when bending backward
- Tenderness in the spine or spinal muscles
Herniated disc treatment
Luckily, in most cases, disc problems such as a herniated disc can easily be treated without neck or back surgery, injections or addictive medications which can often cause more pain and lengthy recovery time.
Non-invasive chiropractic treatments such as spinal decompression have been demonstrated to be a safe and effective treatment for herniated discs.
Patients seeking relief from neck or back pain conditions have found relief for back pain and neck at the Busch Chiropractic Pain Center. Utilizing the DRS Protocol treatment for back pain and neck pain, which utilizes spinal decompression as well as customized therapies for each patient's unique condition, we have helped thousands of patients in the Fort Wayne area get relief from herniated disc pain.
If you suffer from symptoms of a herniated disc, schedule an appointment online with the Busch Chiropractic Pain Center today or call (260) 471-4090.