The spinal cord is composed of several disc-like structures that allow you to move your back and bend. These discs are also known as the spinal discs. As you age, the spinal discs in your body become less elastic and more rigid. In many cases, the discs also tend to deteriorate thus making them vulnerable to different kinds of spinal injuries.
One of the most common spinal conditions is the herniated disc. This happens when your spinal discs are ruptured or broken at some parts. These vertebral cushions have a gel-like substance inside them that can leak out when they rupture. As a result, bulging occurs because of the substances that are leaking out on the surface of the discs. This bulging is also the reason why herniated discs can become a really painful condition. When bulging occurs, compression of the nerves also occurs. As a result, the nerves are pinched by the protrusion which causes severe pain.
There are many things that can result to herniated discs. One common cause is trauma. For instance, when you fall on your back, the impact can be very hard for your spine and this can cause the discs to break or rupture. In the same way, there are certain lifestyle habits and activities that can repeatedly damage your spine. Examples of these are lifting heavy objects, poor posture and excessive improper bending.
If you are not sure if you have this condition, here are some of the symptoms that you need to be aware of. The most common of all is pain. The pain usually resembles that of an electric shock. Sudden pain when bending the back or when pressure is applied is often being experienced by people with herniated discs. The electric shock-like pain does not only affect the back but also the lower part of your body such as your legs. Numbness is also a very common symptom because the nerves are affected. When your nerves are pinched too much, they tend to not work properly and lose sensation. This usually happens on the mid or lower back areas. Your muscles may also be affected because the spinal cord is the main passageway of signals to and from the brain. Therefore, if there are interruptions in the spinal cord, it is likely for you to experience muscle weakness. If you are suspecting herniated disc problem and at the same time you are experiencing bladder problems, you should immediately contact your physician. When your bladder is affected, the whole condition becomes an emergency case.
There are several ways by which doctors diagnose the presence of herniated discs. These are usually procedures that involve imaging systems. MRI and X-rays are examples of more advanced technology that are used for the diagnosis. Your doctors may also determine the presence of herniated discs by checking by physical examination. Touching different areas of the back and the body to test sensation and reflexes is very common to determine the condition.
Treatments may vary depending on the case. Osteopathy and orthopedic departments can assist in the diagnosis of herniated discs and ongoing treatment.
Hi. I’m Karen. Ever since my friend introduced me to osteopathy, I’ve been a huge fan. My osteopathy practitioner helps me get back on track when I visit. This has inspired me to understand more about my body and how I can get the best from it.
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