The soft discs in your back give your back some flexibility: You can bend forward, backward, and twist. If one of them ruptures, the team at Restorative Physical Medicine in Livonia and Novi, Michigan, can treat your spinal disc herniation and help you avoid surgery. To find out if you have a disc herniation that needs treatment, call Restorative Physical Medicine, or book an appointment online today.
What are spinal discs?
Discs are one of several components that make up your spine. Your vertebrae, or spinal bones, are stacked on top of one another to form your spine.
Between each of your vertebrae is a soft cushioning disc to absorb shock within your spine. They also allow for some spinal flexibility. They have a soft, gel-like inner core called a nucleus and a tough outer layer of collagen called an annulus.
What is a disc herniation?
A herniated, slipped, or bulged disc occurs when one of the discs in your spine weakens and falls out of its place. Part of the nucleus goes through a tear in the annulus and enters your spinal canal, and it can place pressure on nerves in the area.
A spinal disc herniation, also known as a herniated disc, almost always happens due to age-related wear-and-tear. This process is called disc degeneration.
Your discs become weaker and more prone to rupturing and moving around, especially when you bend down or twist your back.
Disc herniation can happen anywhere along your spine, but the most common area for them is in your lower back. You might feel pain elsewhere in your body, depending on the nerves that the herniated disc compresses.
What are the symptoms of a disc herniation?
Disc herniation doesn’t always cause symptoms, but when they do, the symptoms depend on the location of the slipped disc along your spine.
If you slip a disc in your lower back or the lumbar portion of your spine, the symptoms might include low back pain or leg pain. Specifically, you might get symptoms of sciatica. Sciatica is radiating pain through your leg and buttock that can happen when a herniated disc places pressure on your sciatic nerve.
If you get a herniated disc in your neck or cervical spine, you might have pain in your neck and between your shoulder blades. In some cases, pain or numbness can radiate down your arm and through your fingers.
How is a disc herniation treated?
At Restorative Physical Medicine, your provider locates your disc herniation and reviews your symptoms to form a treatment plan. They might advise you to take several days to rest and allow the inflammation to go down. They might also recommend:
During spinal traction, your provider stretches your spine to separate the vertebrae and relieve pressure from compressed nerves.
Electrical muscle stimulation
Electrical muscle stimulation works by delivering low-level electrical currents to the muscles near your herniated disc to relieve pain and tension.
Your provider can help you maintain your spinal mobility after a herniated disc with personalized exercises.
To find out more about disc herniation and why it happens, call Restorative Physical Medicine or book an appointment online today.