Most people, with age, develop a herniated disc due to gradual wear and tear. The condition is categorized into lumbar and cervical herniated discs, and it is essential to take precautionary measures to curb herniated disc symptoms and avoid worsening pain. If you or a loved one is experiencing pain in the neck or lower back area, which has started affecting your daily routine, it could be a symptom of a herniated disc. To guide you, in this blog, we cover all you need to know about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options of a herniated disc.
What is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc refers to a condition wherein there is an alignment, damage, or any other issue between the vertebrae and disc that constitute the spine. The condition applies additional pressure on the nearby nerves, resulting in unbearable pain, weakness, and numbness in the leg or arm. A herniated disc is also called a “slipped” or “ruptured” disc.
What Causes a Herniated Disc?
There is no specific cause of a herniated disc. Usually, with age, people are more likely to develop this condition due to gradual, age-related wear and tear. With age, the spine also loses a significant amount of water content, making it less flexible and prone to damage in case of a minor trauma. Other causes of a herniated disc may include major trauma to the affected area or straining the back to lift heavy objects.
What are the Symptoms?
The three common herniated disc symptoms include unbearable pain, weakness, and numbness or tingling sensation. Although there are two broad categories of herniated discs - cervical and lumbar - and both affect different parts of the body - neck and lower back respectively - the symptoms are similar. We discuss the symptoms in brief below.
In cases where a patient is experiencing pain in the lower back, thigh, buttocks and calf region, it is categorized as lumbar herniated disc. The second categorization is cervical herniated discs, wherein a patient experiences pain in the shoulders and arms region.
A herniated disc usually affects nearby nerves, that tend to affect the nearby muscles too. Therefore, most patients who are diagnosed with a herniated disc experience weakness, resulting in a number of problems, such as lifting, walking, or running. Most patients also find it difficult to maintain balance while sitting or walking.
Most patients who are diagnosed with a herniated disc experience numbness or a tingling sensation in the lower back or neck region, depending on the type of herniated disc.
What are the Treatment Options?
As all treatable conditions, a herniated disc can be treated by both non-surgical and surgical methods. The non-surgical methods to treat a herniated disc include physiotherapy, medication, cold compresses, and heat applications. It is important for patients to curb physical activity till they are relieved of the pain, to avoid aggravating the condition. In case non-surgical treatment
Looking for a Solution?
Unbearable pain in the neck or lower back region is a common indication of a herniated disc. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the herniated disc symptoms, it is essential to consult a doctor and try non-surgical treatment options to relieve pain. However, if none of the methods help, seek expert advice and go for surgery. Nowadays, most people prefer the easy way out by contacting a referral center that connects you with experienced surgeons that guide you in the right direction. Browse the web and choose reputable referral centers to make informed decisions.