Is Low Back Pain A Sign Of A Herniated Disk?

herniated disc Dec28th 2021

Are you struggling with chronic lower back pain? Millions of people suffer from low back pain, making it one of the primary reasons for disability and limited activity. There could be several causes of low back pain including problems with muscles and ligaments, improper sleeping position, and injuries. Specific problems with the spine, which includes several vertebrae and discs, may also be the source of back pain. Sometimes problems in the spine can result in a herniated disc. It’s important to see a medical professional as soon as possible to begin treatment for a herniated disc. Call OSR Physical Therapy today to find out how we can help reduce or even eliminate your back pain.

What is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc is a problem associated with one of the rubbery discs that are between each of the individual vertebrae in your back. The interior part of each disc is softer on the inside. When the soft part pushes through a tear in the outer shell of the disc it is called a herniated disc. Where the disk is located in the low back and how far the interior of the disc is pushed out will determine how much pain an individual is in.

A herniated disc is sometimes called a slipped, ruptured, or bulging disc.

How To Know If You Have a Herniated Disc

Herniated discs can happen for a number of reasons, including a strain or an injury of some sort. Some people are actually predisposed for herniated discs depending on genetics, and some people naturally experience herniated discs naturally as they age.

As a person gets older, disc material slowly degenerates. Ligaments will start to grow weaker, and when this happens, even the smallest of movements (such as twisting or stretching) can result in a herniated disc.

The signs of a herniated disc are different depending on the size of the disc and its location. If the disc is not pushing on a nerve, you might not feel any pain, but if it is on a nerve, there will be pain, weakness, and a feeling of numbness in the part of the body where the nerve is being pressed on. This pain can persist long time, causing chronic pain in the low back.

When there is pressure being applied to the sciatic nerve, a condition called sciatica make occur in the lower lumbar spine. Sciatica causes sensations of pain, burning, and numbness ranging from the buttocks, down the legs, and to the feet. A sharp pain may also be felt when walking, sitting, or standing.

You may feel pain in the neck and between your shoulder blades if a herniated disc occurs in the neck area. This pain will most likely be felt down your arms and into your fingers. Needless to say, a herniated disc in any part of your body can cause a lot of discomfort.

Read More: How Physical Therapy Can Heal Your Lower Back Pain

Causes and Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

There are several reasons you may suffer from a herniated disc. It may occur from an accident or any time you suffer an injury to your back. Sometimes, however, discs will naturally grow weak and degenerate. This may increase as you continue to age. Once a disc becomes weak a minor movement or strain could cause the disc to slip or rupture. Some people may have a genetic predisposition for this type of condition.

The symptoms a person experiences will vary widely depending on the position of the disc and if it’s actually touching a nerve. Pain could range from minor to excruciating. According to the Mayo Clinic there are several symptoms associated with a herniated disc.

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Leg Pain
  • Arm Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle Weakness

Relieving Back Pain With Physical Therapy

You may have been told that surgery is necessary to treat a herniated disc and alleviating low back pain. Surgery, which carries the risk of several serious side effects, shouldn’t be your first choice. Physical therapy can often help alleviate the pain associated with a herniated disc. There are several treatment options a therapist may use. Deep tissue massage can relieve deep spasms and tension in your back. Other methods might include cold and hot therapy, hydrotherapy, and traction. Move Forward states that for a diagnosis that’s been made within 48 hours a physical therapist might advice you to sit in firm chairs and to stay moderately active to reduce pain and stiffness.

If you think your back pain is caused by a herniated disc a trained physical therapist may be able to help. You’ll want to seek out professional help as soon as possible to prevent further damage from occurring. A physical therapist will likely conduct an extensive evaluation before creating a specific treatment program. There are many courses of treatment using physical therapy that may be able to decrease or completely eliminate your symptoms. Contact OSR Physical Therapy for more information about eliminating your back pain.

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