What is a Herniated Disk?
Your spine comprises bones (vertebrae) vertically arranged with rubbery materials (disks) between them to allow for smooth movement. Each spinal disc has a soft jelly-like center encircled by a more rigid rubbery material called the annulus. Now that you know the basic makeup of your spinal code, les look at the definition of a Herniated disk.
A herniated disk occurs when the nucleus in the spinal disk pushes through the annulus. This injury usually happens when there is a tear in the annulus. A herniated disc is also commonly referred to as a slipped disk or a ruptured disk. If you suspect have a herniated disk visit Mount Pleasant Chiropractors for a professional diagnosis.
Does a Herniated Disk Only Occur on One Part of the Spine?
The spine runs from the back of your skull to the small of your back. A herniated disc can occur in any part of the spine but is most prevalent in the lower back.
Signs and Symptoms of a Herniated Disk
Depending on what part of the spine the disk slipped, you may experience pain, numbness, or weakness in your extremities (arms and legs). Most people who suffer from a herniated disk do not experience adverse symptoms and rarely require surgery to fix the problem.
Arm or leg pain- if you are part of the few cases where leg and arm pain results from a slipped disk, you probably slipped a disk in your lower back. You may also experience pain in your lower back or buttocks. Some patients report feeling pain in one section of their foot.
If the herniated disk happened in your neck, you would feel the pain along your shoulders and arm. The pain may radiate through the arm and be felt in one part of the hand. The pain may intensify every time the patient coughs, laughs too hard, or sneezes. Pain may also spike when the patient makes sudden or strenuous movements.
Causes of a Herniated Disk
Most people have never had a herniated disk or even known someone with a herniated disk because it doesn’t happen very often. So what exactly causes herniated disks? A slipped disk can be the direct result of aging.
The older you get, the more likely you will get a slipped disk or any other kind of rupture, strain, or twist. Older people are advised to use their leg muscles instead of their back muscles when lifting heavy things. Better yet, avoid lifting any heavy objects if you can get somebody else to do it.
A slipped disk can occur due to blunt force trauma in rare cases. These injuries include falls from high places or a blow to the back from an external force. Most falls occur due to poor eye sites, so older people should always get their eye sites checked regularly to avoid any unnecessary injury.
Who is at Risk of Getting a Slipped Disk?
Some people are more at risk of getting a herniated disk than others. Here are a few risk factors that put you on the high-risk list for herniated disks
• Occupation- If your job requires you to participate in highly strenuous work, you are at high risk of slipping a disk. Some jobs like professional boxing can also put fighters at risk of developing a herniated disk.
• Genetics- Genetics plays a vital role in the makeup of our bones and ligaments. Some people are born with genetic predispositions that put them at risk of developing a herniated disk, among other spine complications.
• Smoking- Smoking does a lot of damage to the user’s body. It is speculated that smoking lessens the oxygen supply to the body, specifically the disks causing faster tissue degeneration.
• Frequent diving- Sitting for long periods puts pressure on the spine and can cause severe back pain. Coupled with the constant vibration from the vehicle’s engine, the changes of frequent drivers developing a herniated disk become elevated.
• Weight- Excessive weight causes many health risks for the overweight person. Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for developing a herniated disk in the lower back, where the extra weight puts the most strain on the back.
• A sedentary lifestyle- Get up and move around because it significantly reduces your chances of suffering a herniated disk.
Learn more about Vital Family Chiropractic‘s Services in Herniated Discs