A herniated disc, also known as a slipped disc, occurs when the soft inner core of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in its tough outer layer, irritating nearby nerves and causing a range of symptoms. This condition is often a result of wear and tear on the spine due to aging, injury, or other factors. Our expert team at Alliance Orthopedics is dedicated to providing accurate information and effective treatment options to help you better understand and manage herniated discs.
Causes of Herniated Discs
Herniated discs can be caused by a variety of factors, though some are more likely to trigger the condition than others. The causes often revolve around age, lifestyle habits, and physical strain. While many individuals may not display symptoms, others may experience severe pain, numbness, and even disability. The underlying causes of herniated discs are multifaceted and may differ significantly from person to person. Here are some of the most common causes:
Age: With age, intervertebral discs lose their flexibility, elasticity, and shock-absorbing characteristics, making them more susceptible to damage, even from a minor strain or twist.
Physical exertion: Heavy lifting, especially without proper form and technique, may lead to disc damage. Occupations that involve lifting, pulling, bending, or twisting may increase the risk of incurring a herniated disc.
Body weight: Overweight individuals are at a higher risk as extra weight puts more stress on the discs in your lower back.
Genetics: Some people inherit a predisposition to developing a herniated disc.
Smoking: Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, prompting disc degeneration.
Herniated Disc Symptoms
Recognizing the symptoms of a herniated disc is essential for early diagnosis and effective treatment. A herniated disc can cause a range of discomfort and neurological issues due to the pressure it exerts on nearby nerves. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, seeking medical evaluation is crucial to determine the cause and appropriate course of action. Here are the common symptoms associated with herniated discs:
Localized or radiating pain
Numbness and tingling sensations
Loss of bowel or bladder control
Changes in reflexes
Difficulty with balance and coordination
Diagnosis and Treatment
At Alliance Orthopedics, we offer a comprehensive approach to herniated discs. Our experienced specialists follow a streamlined process to accurately diagnose the root cause of your discomfort and provide effective treatment. During your initial assessment, our specialists will review your medical history, analyze your symptoms, and perform a physical exam to understand the extent of your herniated disc. Further imaging, like X-rays, EMGs, MRIs, CT scans, and bone scans, may be recommended to determine the severity of the herniation and the best course of treatment.
After diagnosing the cause of your pain, Alliance Orthopedics will create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Our multifaceted approach often includes physical therapy, chiropractic care, and advanced procedures such as nerve blocks or epidural injections for pain relief. Our goal at Alliance Orthopedics is to alleviate your pain, enhance your mobility, improve your overall well-being, and get you back to doing what you love. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take a positive step toward a healthier, pain-free life.