A slipped disc is a common back injury that many adults endure. Chiropractors who specialize in the spine, can help to correct this injury among other conditions that affect many adults. The spinal column can be thought of much like a tower with the top as the control panel or the brain.
The top of the tower (brain) sends messages to the floors below through the nerves. Each floor is made up of vertebrae that is stacked on top of each other and the nerves channel through. Between these floors lies a layer of cushion that protects the vertebrae from rubbing together.
Rubbed The Wrong Way
The cushion that lays between the vertebrae is designed to protect each layer from rubbing together causing wear and tear. When the discs have too much pressure or do not receive enough movement, they are often at risk for bulging or even degenerating. Also, there is potential for nerve irritation which can attribute to pain as well as muscle pain and weakness.
So, how is this condition diagnosed? Typically an MRI is ordered to diagnose whether or not a disc is bulging or degenerating. Many patients are unaware that they have a slipped disc as some may be unaware of the symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
A tell-tale sign that a disc has slipped out of place is when a pain travels down one leg. This is associated with nerve pain that can be sharp, dull, piercing, aching or even burning. The pain may worsen when trying to sit or even coughing or sneezing. Numbness and tingling may also be present as well as muscle weakness.
For many patients, studies have shown that a conservative approach has been shown to be successful. This consists of:
- Chiropractic Care
- Lumbar Stabilization Exercises
- Staying Active
- Over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
If the conservative approach did not prove to be successful, than a more aggressive drug therapy regime may be suggested. Medications such as muscle relaxants, gabapentin, NSAIDS, opioid analgesic or epidural steroid injections may be the best course of action. Lastly, if all other options have been exhausted, surgery may be recommended.
Having a slipped disc becomes an emergency situation when:
- Symptoms rapidly progress (pain becomes numbness, or numbness becomes weakness)
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction
- Loss of sensation on the inner thighs and area around the rectum
The best way to take care of your spine is to use it! A strong core and spine can go a long way in preventing degenerative conditions from developing. When the core is strong there is less stress put on the spine and a lesser chance of strain and injury from occurring.
It may sound a bit silly, but posture is critical. Having the back in its proper posture will eliminate extra strain as the spine will be kept strong. Also, maintaining a healthy weight will minimize the pressure and lessen the risk of herniation.
Disc herniation is a condition that can be treated conservatively by our Atlanta chiropractors. Each case is different and because of that, each treatment plan will be designed to fit the needs of each patient. It’s important to seek medical care before symptoms worsen, so if you suspect you may have a slipped disc, contact our Atlanta chiropractors today at (404) 889-8828!