If you suffer from prolonged discomfort in your lower back muscles that is also characterized by stiffness and lack of motion, you probably have a herniated disc.
Herniated disc treatment includes surgery or chiropractic therapy such as spinal adjustments.
What is A Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc is a problem that develops because of repeated strains to the spine. When undue stress is put on the spine, spinal discs become enlarged or bulged, putting pressure on nerves near the spinal cord, causing herniated disc pain.
If one of the spinal discs on the spinal cord starts to bulge, it is considered a herniated disc. This condition limits the range of motion and discourages already stubborn back pain from improving.
Patients with herniated discs experience symptoms to different degrees depending on the severity of their condition. Some patients experience soreness and tender stiffness in the spine while others experience excruciating pain in the back, neck, legs, and arms.
Herniated discs increase muscle weakness and prohibit patients from mobilizing themselves until herniated disc treatment is found.
What Causes A Herniated Disc?
Herniated discs are most often acquired through injury, poor posture, or old age.
Herniated Disc Due to Repetitive Injury
Patients who complain of long-term lower back pain due to repetitive manual labor and stress placed on the spine likely suffer from a herniated spinal disc.
This condition is especially common in individuals whose careers rely primarily on manual labor as they tend to place repetitive stress on their spine and surrounding nerve endings due to the monotonous nature of their work.
Herniated Disc as a Result of Poor Posture
Disc herniation is also largely tied to poor posture. Poor posture not only heightens your chance of developing a herniated disc but also serves as a warning sign to individuals as to their spine’s alignment and whether that alignment is normal.
Individuals with a herniated disc are encouraged to improve their posture and their spinal strength to assist the chiropractic treatment. While they can assist in herniated disc treatment, chiropractors cannot single-handedly fix your posture.
To fix poor posture, break the habit of slouching in chairs and keep your back straight whenever possible.
Herniated Disc Due to Old Age
Disc herniation becomes more likely with old age. Older patients are more likely to experience a herniated disc because of the long time of stress put on the spine.
Herniated Disc Due to Weight Gain
Patients who are overweight or obese may be more susceptible to herniated discs because of the added stress on the spinal discs as a result of additional body weight.
Common Non-Surgical Treatments
With the help of a chiropractor, you can determine the cause of your herniated disc and a treatment plan which may include the following:
Spinal Adjustments and Alignments
Patients have chiropractic adjustments and alignments to the spine designed to relieve the pain associated with a herniated disc. Realignment of the spine encourages spinal strengthening and relieves the pain associated with herniated discs.
If posture, for example, is the leading cause of a herniated disc, your chiropractor may suggest conducting spinal adjustments at regular intervals to promote spinal health and effectively relieve pain.
Ice pack application may help eliminate inflammation and muscle discomfort as symptoms of a herniated disc. Cold packs control muscle spasms and can be effective in reducing the initial pain during the first 48 hours or so after the pain was first realized.
Pain Medications and Muscle Relaxants
During recovery, your chiropractor may suggest taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen as needed to treat pain and swelling. Also, muscle relaxants designed to combat muscle spasms are offered to relieve herniated disc patients of uncontrollable, painful muscle spasms.
Heat therapy can also relieve muscle pain associated with a herniated disc. Heating pads and other hot compresses are effective options in relieving pain and herniated disc symptoms.