Approximately 80 percent of people will experience back pain at least once in their lives due to a variety of reasons, a very common reason of which is a herniated disc. A herniated disc is also referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc.
With a herniated disc, the nucleus of the disc is pushed out of the annulus. In other words, the inner part of the vertebral disc, a gelatinous-like material, is pushed through the weakened outer shell, which causes the surrounding nerves to become irritated.
Is It a Herniated Disc or Something Else?
A herniated disc can cause a variety of symptoms all over the body. An example is pain that radiates from your buttocks all the way down your legs to your feet. This symptom can also develop in your arms. Other symptoms include tingling, weakness, or numbness in the extremities. The symptoms will depend on the location of the herniation. For instance, disc herniation higher up the spine will have symptoms over the shoulder blade, neck, and upper extremities. Ultimately, for the proper diagnosis of a herniated disc, you will need to see an orthopedic doctor because it requires image-guided technology to visualize the problem.
Causes of a Herniated Disc
There are several causes of a herniated disc, and most have to do with a weakening of the annulus, the tough exterior of the vertebral disc.
By the time you reach a certain age, your spine will have seen a lot of wear and tear to the spinal column (from twisting, bending, walking, and running). The degeneration can result in wear-and-tear damage on the vertebral discs due to years of repeated shock absorption.
You cannot always prevent movement of the spine, and you can accelerate the degeneration of your vertebral discs through repetitive activities that strain the spine. For instance, occupations that require frequent lifting, bending, and twisting are sure to weaken the spine earlier than normal.
Another common cause of a herniated disc is injury. Sports, household chores, vehicular accidents, and sudden jerking movements can stress the vertebral discs beyond the force they can take, causing them to herniate. A very common cause of a spine injury is improper lifting, using your back muscles to lift heavy objects instead of the leg muscles.
A herniated disc could be caused by a combination of wear and tear and injury. Make sure to protect your spine to slow disc degeneration and minimize injury risk.
Herniated Disc Treatment in Michigan
If you are seeking relief from the symptoms of a herniated disc, call the spine specialists at Ahlgren Spine. We offer a combination of treatment methods, depending on what is most suitable for your condition.
To schedule a consultation with a talented and caring spine surgeon, call Ahlgren Spine at (248) 215-8080 or request an appointment now. Our friendly staff looks forward to welcoming you to our locations in Michigan: Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, and Lapeer.