Herniated Disc Overview
There are different levels of severity for herniations and depending on how severe the patients herniation is it will dictate the course for treatment. The three differnt kinds of herniations are contained, extruded and sequestered.
A contained herniation is when the herniation has not yet broken through the outer wall of the disc. An extruded herniation is when the herniation has broken through the wall of the disc but is still attached to the disc while a sequestered herniation has broken through the wall and become unattached to the disc.
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Herniated Disc may also be known as Herniated Disk, Disc Herniation, Bulging Disc, Slipped Disc, Protruded Disc, Disc Prolapse.
Symptoms of Herniated Disc
Symptoms of a herniated disc can vary in severity depending on the type, size and placement of the herniation. An mRI of the effected area of the spine will help define these factors.
Some symptoms a person suffering from a disc herniation may experience are:
- Pain that Worsens at night
- Numbness, Tingling or Stiffness at or near the site.
- Pain feels worse with sitting.
- Pain gets worse when doing activities (walking, running).
- Muscle weakness.
- Tingling, weakness that radiates from the neck into the shoulder and arms.
- Tingling, weakness that radiates from the lower back into the buttocks and legs.
Herniated Disc Causes
The causes of a disc herniation are normally tied to either age or injury. Conditions such as Degenerative Disc Disease can assist in making herniations a much more common happening. Also, depending of the overall condition of the individual, it can be much more common for injuries to occur resulting in herniations. Having strong core muscles and being in good physical condition can help prevent injuries leading to fewer cases of hernitions occuring over a persons lifetime.
- Engage in too much or too strenuous exertion
- Recent Injury or Fall.
- As you age, spinal discs become less flexible as early as age 30.
- Sedentary Lifestyle (Spend much time seated; Somewhat inactive)
- Excessive Body Weight
Herniated Disc Treatments
There are three goals when treating a herniated disc regardless of the treatment given. These goals are to provide stability back to the area, heal any damage the herniation has caused and ensure that the herniation does not re-occur in the future. As in most other cases, conservative treatment is almost always the first step. As conservative treatments fail more agressive treatments are recommended.
Some treatment options that are available for the treatment of a herniated disc are:
- Ice Packs
- Heat Therapy
- Non steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs help to relieve inflammation