Do You Think You Might Have a Herniated Disc in Your Back? Identification and Treatment
The idea of a herniated disc in your back is enough to make anyone worry. But would you even necessarily know that it has happened? A lot depends on precisely where on your spine the disc has herniated. In some instances, the problem might be obvious. You might be aware of an injury that has resulted in some pain or discomfort in your back. Having said that, it's also possible that you might have inadvertently injured your back while performing a usual day-to-day activity, with the subsequent pain or discomfort only being minor and infrequent. However minor, you shouldn't have to put up with any pain or discomfort. There's also the possibility that the situation will deteriorate, leading to significant pain that can affect your quality of life. So what are some of the signs of a herniated disc in your back? And what should you do about it?
Your spine is divided into three key sections. The lumbar spine is the lower section, the cervical spine is the centre section, and the thoracic spine is the upper section. The signs of a herniated disc can differ depending on which section of your spine the condition occurs.
- A herniated disc in your lumbar spine will often affect the lower half of your body. There might be weakness in your toes and feet. There can also be numbness or even pain that radiates down your legs.
- If the cervical section of your spine is affected by a herniated disc, the effects will be noticeable in your upper body. You might feel weakness in your deltoids, biceps or triceps. There might be a numbness or tingling feeling that extends along your arms to your fingers.
- There are not always symptoms when the thoracic section of your spine is affected by a herniated disc. There might be pain or discomfort in your actual back, but this is not always the case.
Regardless of where in your spine the herniated disc is located, it's important to be treated as soon as possible. The disc might become further misaligned to the point where surgical intervention is the only option. But how can a herniated disc be treated in its early stages?
Your doctor can often identify a herniated disc by touch, since the protrusion of the disc can be felt with their fingertips. For lower degrees of herniation, an x-ray might be necessary to clearly identify the issue. Your doctor might prescribe pain relief with anti-inflammatory properties to minimise any swelling. They could also refer you to a chiropractor for spinal decompression therapy. The specifics of this procedure might not sound pleasant, but it's a highly effective way to repair a herniated disc. Your spine is essentially stretched by the chiropractor which allows the herniated disc to slot back into place. The sensation of this stretching is noticeable, but it should not be painful.
A herniated disc can be unpleasant to deal with, but it can be quickly and easily fixed in most instances.