Disc herniation

DISC HERNIATION
 
椎間盤突出 (disc herniation) also referred to as a slipped disc or a disc prolapse is quite a common condition that can be extremely painful and weakening. It is a condition of the spine where a tear in the outer ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central portion to bulge out beyond the damaged outer rings. The most common location that a herniated disc usually occurs is in the disc level between the fourth and fifth lumber vertebrae in the lower back. This is because this area constantly absorbs the impact of bearing the upper body weight especially while standing or sitting. The lower back is also critically involved in the body’s movements throughout the day. 
 
What causes disc herniation?
 
Disc herniation often results from the gradual, aging-related wear and tear known as disc degeneration. As one age, the spinal disks tend to lose some of their water content. This makes them be less flexible as well as more prone to tearing or rupturing even with a minor strain or twist.
However, some of the exact causes of disc herniation are not known, but it is believed that using the back muscles instead of the legs and thighs for lifting large and heavy objects can cause disc herniation as can, turning and twisting while lifting. In some rare cases, a traumatic event like a fall or a blow to the back can also cause a disc herniation.
 
What are the risk factors for disk herniation?
 
•    Excess body weight which causes extra stress on the disks in the lower back.
•    Certain occupations that pose a greater risk to back problems such as those that involve repetitive lifting, bending, pulling and pushing.

•    Genetics where some people inherit a predisposition to developing a herniated disk.
 
What are the symptoms of a herniated disk?
 
The symptoms largely depend on the location of the spine where the disc herniation occurs and whether or not the nearby tissues and nerves are being irritated. This means that a disc herniation may not cause any symptoms. The condition can, however, cause a lot of pain at the local area of the level of the spine, numbness or tingling, and weakness.  
 
What are the treatment options for a herniated disk?
 
Generally, patients are advised to start with a course of non-surgical treatment prior to considering the use of surgery. These non-surgical treatments include physical therapy, ice and heat therapy, narcotic pain medication, oral asteroids and epidural injections to decrease inflammation. While this is generally true, for some patients, the early surgical intervention is usually beneficial. For example, when a patient suffers a major progressive weakness in the arms or legs because of the root pinching from a herniated disc, having surgery earlier can stop any further damage.
 
Can chiropractic care be used to treat disk herniation?
 
Yes. Disc herniation is one of the disc problems that chiropractors deal with from time to time. At TST Chiropractic Centre, we provide you with the highest standards of chiropractic care to help alleviate the symptoms of a herniated disk to help you get back to good health and wellbeing. To learn this and more visit tstcc.hk