4 things to know about your herniated disc
If you suffer from a herniated disc, you’re well aware that it’s extremely painful and can have a negative impact upon your life. Every year over 1.2 million Americans undergo some form of spinal surgery in an attempt to correct or lessen the herniated disc. This type of surgery is very costly and painful and it can take you months to recover. Before you undergo the knife, here are 4 critical things you should be aware of regarding your herniated disc:
- What exactly is a herniated disc?
Picture a shock absorber for a car. Its job is to absorb the up and down motion of the chassis and prevent things from slamming into each other when movement occurs. The human disc works in a similar way. It is basically a mini shock absorber which allows spinal motion. Picture each disc as a rubber cushion, which will work to lessen the impact of walking and jumping on the bones. Inside each cushion is some gel (aka “the nucleus”). The gel provides the actual cushioning.
When the area that surrounds the gel ruptures, the gel like substance oozes out and severely reduces the cushioning effect. This is where the sharp, stabbing pain comes from.
- Can a herniated disc be treated without surgery?
It really depends on who you talk to. The chiropractic industry has a set method of helping people with herniated discs leave a normal life without invasive and expensive surgery. However, sometimes the hernia is so bad that surgery is the only real option.
Stop by a Chiropractors office to see if they can help you. They will give you an examination, take X-rays and present to you a course of recommended action. Believe it or not, sometimes your health insurance will cover the cost of a chiropractor. It’s a lot cheaper (and a lot less painful) to go see a chiropractor a few times than it is to go under the knife!
- Can you prevent a herniated disc from returning after it’s been fixed?
If your herniated disc was caused by repetitive motion or sports injury, then it can most likely be prevented from returning if you stop doing whatever it was that caused it in the first place. There are some diet tips out there that suggest back pain can be lessened based on what kinds of food you eat. If you stop eating fast food, then that can help cut down on your obesity, which in turn can relieve some of the pressure on your back and spine. Your doctor or chiropractor will also give you some simple exercises that you can do to help keep your back in good shape.
- What causes a herniated disc?
There are many things out there that can cause your disc to herniate. Obesity is usually a major culprit. All of that extra weight that you carry around is not good for your spine, which was designed (by your DNA) for a specific weight level. As with a truck that is overloaded with cargo, being over-weight makes for a very dangerous situation.
Old age can also cause disc problems. People simply get old and the body shuts down. In this case exercise and diet may or may not help with the pain.
Physical injuries are also very common. While some professional athletes suffer from herniated discs, it is usually the amateur athletes who fall victim as they didn’t stretch properly before the game, or they simply took a bad hit and it caused them to land on the ground in certain way which herniated the disc in their back.