Types of Pain & Treatments
We've compiled helpful information to help you learn more about the types of pain that could be affecting your quality of life daily.
Herniated discs are a real problem in the western part of the world today. Around 40% of individuals aged 40 have abnormalities in their discs, many of which lead to herniated discs if left untreated. Here are the top questions about herniated discs and what you need to know.
What is a herniated disc?
A herniated disc is when one of the discs between the individual bones of your spine starts to push out through a tear in the exterior. Here’s an image of what this looks like:
What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?
It’s important to note that you can have a herniated disc with no symptoms. However, many patients find that there are some key symptoms they experience when they have a herniated disc. Here are some common symptoms of a herniated disc:
Back pain – contrary to what you might think, herniated discs don’t always cause back pain, it can manifest in other areas. However, back pain can still be a sign you have a herniated disc.
Arm or leg pain – If your herniated disc is in your lower back, you may experience arm or leg pain because of the way the disk is pressing against your nerves.
Weakness – Due to the pressure on your nerves, you may experience weakness in associated areas. If you’re unexpectedly stumbling or are more clumsy, it could be a sign of a herniated disc.
How to Know if You Have a Herniated Disc
The above symptoms are never enough to know if the cause is a herniated disk. Only a trained professional can diagnose this, and improper diagnosing and treatment can actually make the problem, and your symptoms, worse. Always book an appointment and check with a doctor in order to know if you have a herniated disk.
How does someone get a herniated disc?
Herniated discs happen when the outer ring weakens and the inner part slips out of place. This can happen for many reasons:
Excessive use in the wrong posture
Remaining in a seated position for too long (sedentary lifestyles)
A lack of exercise and strengthening of surrounding muscles of the spine.
Do herniated discs go away?
Mild cases of herniated discs can potentially disappear on their own. However, in most cases, when herniated discs are left untreated, the symptoms and severity of the problem can worsen to dangerous levels. It is not wise to let any back pain or injury go untreated, and this is certainly the case for herniated discs.
What happens if a herniated disc goes untreated?
If no action is taken to treat herniated discs, the case can worsen, ultimately leading to permanent nerve damage if it's severe enough. Because herniated discs impact your nerves to such an extent, leaving them untreated can lead to continued pain, difficulty walking normally (due to pain), numbness, and loss of complete control of certain areas of your body. Book an appointment to discover if you have a herniated disc.
How to Treat a Herniated Disc
There are several options when it comes to treating your herniated disc, all dependent on the severity, as well as your personal preference in treatment options. Make sure to check with a professional and learn all of our options before treatment. Here are some of the common herniated disc treatments:
Medications – Pain medications can be used to treat the symptoms of a herniated disc. However, they will not treat the underlying conditions. For that, you’ll need the next treatment options.
Therapy – Physical therapy is one of the best ways to treat a herniated disc. With the right therapy, strength building, and posture, herniated discs can be corrected over time.
Surgery – Most patients find that physical therapy is enough to treat their herniated disc but for those with more severe cases, surgery is sometimes necessary. In this case, the surgeon will operate and remove the bulging portion of the disc so it no longer presses into the nerve to cause the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Platelet Rich Plasma Injections – This treatment option will help you avoid surgery with natural results. PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is in your blood and is typically used for clotting. However, platelets also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors, which can be used to naturally heal the affected area, growing into the cells of that area. With this treatment option, your body is essentially healing itself with our guidance without the down time of extensive surgery.
Ultimately, herniated discs, while common, can be dangerous if left untreated. Check with a professional in order to determine firstly, if you have a herniated disc and secondly, to learn what your treatment options are.