What are slipped discs?
The term “slipped disc” is often used to describe a lower back injury. A slipped disc occurs when the circle of connective tissue surrounding the disc breaks down and begins to herniate and bulge out from between your vertebrae bones. This allows the soft, gel-like part of the disc to swell and protrude out.
These herniation’s can cause severe pain as the result of irritating substances being released from this tear, especially if the fragment touches or compresses a nearby nerve.
There are several lifestyle factors which can decrease the strength and resiliency of your discs and increase the risk of herniation. Some of the most common causes of slipped discs include:
- poor posture,
- increasing age-(this because, as you age, your spinal discs begin to lose their water content which makes them less flexible and more likely to rupture),
- bending awkwardly,
- lifting heavy or awkwardly shaped objects,
- prolonged sitting activities such as driving,
- lack of exercise,
- inadequate nutrition,
- being overweight,
- weight-bearing sports,
- a sudden traumatic injury to your back.
Situations such as these can weaken the disc tissue and can sometimes lead to a slipped disc. If the disc is already weakened, it may herniate with a single movement or strain such as coughing or bending to pick up a light object.
What are the symptoms of a slipped disc
It is fundamental that you seek professional treatment if you suffer from any of the following symptoms associated with slipped discs:
- pain in the area of the herniation such as across your hips or buttocks (although disc herniation’s may be present without actually causing pain),
- numbness or pain radiating down your leg to the ankle or foot,
- weakness when extending your big toe,
- an inability to walk on your toes or heels,
- in the most severe cases of lumbar disc herniation, patients often suffer hindered bowel or bladder function.
How Ice Arena Clinic can help treat slipped discs
Thankfully, the majority of disc herniation’s can be sufficiently treated with stretching exercises, sports massage therapy and chiropractic care. If you suffer from a more advanced case of disc herniation, you may require spinal decompression treatments, such as traction or mechanical decompression, which will subsequently be followed by prolonged chiropractic care, which can help you regain a healthy spine alignment and optimal nerve function.