What are common causes of back pain?
There are numerous causes for back pain ranging from muscle strain, trauma, arthritis, disc herniation, muscle spasm, facet joint pain, and cumulative effect of poor body mechanics.
How do disc injuries cause back pain?
When the disc bulges or herniates into the spinal canal, the nerves in that area can become inflamed or agitated, creating both back pain and pain in the area where that nerve carries impulses. The muscles surrounding the injured disc can become fatigued and spasm.
What is the difference between a herniated disc and a bulging disc?
A bulging disc is a slight protrusion of the center of the disc (nucleus pulposus) into the spinal canal. In a bulging disc, the annulus fibrosus (outer ring) has not been ruptured. A disc herniation is a large protrusion of the nucleus pulposus (center of the disc), which has burst through the annulus fiborsus (outer ring of the disc) into the spinal canal, invading the surrounding nerves and causing pain in the back, buttocks, hips, or legs.
Is it true that a bulging disc can be normal?
Bulging discs are very common, and may not produce any symptoms.
How did I herniate my disc?
As we age, the disc may lose hydration and develop small tears and bulges. The herniation can occur due to a lifetime of poor body mechanics, a trauma, or by lifting, bending or twisting the wrong way at the wrong time.
What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?
The classic symptoms of a herniated disc include back pain, hip pain, and any combination of burning, numbness, tingling, or pins and needles in the legs.
What is the treatment for herniated discs?
A herniated disc is treated with conservative therapy unless there is a spinal deformity or neurologic deficit. Conservative therapy can include physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, Pilate's, ultrasound, pain medication, muscle relaxants, and a short course of steroids. If these do not work, the next steps include a steroid epidural or facet joint block. Surgical intervention is the last resort. If surgical intervention becomes necessary, a microdiscectomy is the most common procedure.
Does non-surgical spinal decompression work?
There are many services advertised that offer "non-surgical" spinal decompression. These treatments may not be covered by insurance companies. And there is no published information to suggest that a disk can be unherniated. In my opinion, the results are equal to inversion therapy.
What is degenerative disc disease (DDD)?
Degenerative Disc Disease refers to the loss of loss of hydration in the disc and weakening of the annulus (outer lining of the disc). Trauma can cause the annulus to tear and disc material leaks out and presses on a nerve. Degenerative disc disease is very common in the human population but is not always symptomatic.
What is lumbar instability?
Lumbar instability occurs when there is unnatural movement of the vertebras. This can be a result of degeneration of the discs, a spinal deformity such as spondylolisthesis, or occur after a decompression procedure.
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