10 Things to Know About Herniated Discs

10 Things to Know About Herniated Discs

Posted By Atlanta Pain & Rehab || 23-Apr-2014

Herniated discs are painful. When you suffer a herniated disc you probably find it difficult to move around, hard to relax, and difficult to enjoy life. A herniated disc is a problem affecting one of the rubbery, flat circles that are positioned between your vertebrae. The discs allow the spine to move and bend, and also offer shock absorbing protection for movement.

Spinal discs are filled with a soft material that is protected by a hard outer casing. If a disc is damaged, the soft interior filling pushes out through a crack and puts pressure on the nerves running past the disc. Nerves are irritated, which leads to pain. You can have a herniated disc in your lower back or in your neck – the lower back is the most common location.

Here are 10 other things you need to know about herniated discs:

  1. The pain from a herniated disc is located in the area where the nerve reaches – for example, a herniated disc in the lower back will produce pain in the buttocks, legs, and feet. A herniated disc in the neck will result in pain in the neck and shoulders.
  2. The pain is usually localized on one side of the body.
  3. Sometimes you may not realize you have suffered a herniated disc – some disc damage does not cause symptoms.
  4. Herniated discs happen when the disc is damaged through force or stress and strain. For example, you can damage a disc when lifting a heavy object, or you may damage it when you are involved in a car accident or a fall.
  5. You are more likely to suffer a herniated disc when you are older – the discs degenerate over time and become less flexible and more at risk of breakage.
  6. Being overweight puts pressure on the discs, which increases the likelihood of disc problems.
  7. You can help prevent a herniated disc by always picking up items using the correct technique and by sitting and standing with good posture that doesn’t put excess strain on the spine.
  8. You may be at risk of disc degeneration and herniated discs through a family hereditary trait.
  9. If you suffer a herniated disc, you don’t have to suffer the pain in silence – visit a physical therapist or a pain management specialist to help minimize the discomfort and live a better life while the injury is healing.
  10. Treatment for disc problems includes heat and ice, bracing, exercises, and electrical stimulation.
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