Herniated discs are a common and increasing problem in young people. If not detected early and treated promptly, this condition can lead to disability. Let’s check the health problems of yourself and your loved ones with easyhealthylive.com at the end of the year, friends!
Discs are elastic connective tissue located between the stacked vertebrae of the spine. They work to connect the vertebrae together and reduce shock to the spine.
Each disc has a soft nucleus in the middle, surrounded by a harder shell. A herniated disc is also sometimes called a slipped or ruptured disc, which occurs when part of the nucleus is pushed out because of a tear in the sheath.
Herniation can occur in any disc of the spine, which can irritate a nearby nerve. Depending on the location of the herniated disc, it can lead to pain, numbness, or weakness in the arm or leg.
Many people have no symptoms with a herniated disc and in most cases surgery is not necessary.
Symptoms of herniated disc
If a herniated disc is in your neck, you often feel pain in your shoulder and arm
Most herniated discs occur in the lower back, followed by the neck, because these locations are most affected by daily living habits. Signs and symptoms depend on the location of the disc and whether the disc is pressing on a nerve. They usually affect one side of the body.
If there are no symptoms, it can only be detected by imaging (X-ray, CT or MRI). When you have any of the following three symptoms, you need to see a doctor.
- Arm or leg pain: If the herniated disc is located in the lower back, you will often feel pain in your buttocks, thighs, and calves. You may also have pain in part of your foot. If a herniated disc is in your neck, you usually feel pain in your shoulder and arm. This pain can run to your arm or leg when you cough, sneeze, or move with certain postures. The pain is often aching or burning, which is worse at night, after standing or sitting, or while walking.
- Numbness or tingling: People with this condition often experience numbness or tingling in the part of the body that is controlled by the affected nerves.
- Feebleness: The muscles controlled by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This can cause you to stumble or affect your ability to hold things.
Causes of herniated disc
Herniated discs are often the result of gradual, aging-related wear and tear known as disc degeneration. As you age, the discs in your body become less flexible and are more likely to tear or break with only slight slips or twists.
Most people cannot pinpoint the exact cause of a herniated disc. Sometimes, using the back muscles instead of the leg and thigh muscles to lift heavy objects can lead to a hernia, as well as turning during lifting. Rarer, but a fall or a blow to the back can also be the cause.
Factors that can increase the risk of a herniated disc
People who are overweight, do heavy lifting work… are easy to lead to disc herniation
- Weight: Excess body weight puts extra stress on the discs in the lower back.
- Job: People with physically-related jobs have a higher risk of back problems. Repeated lifting, pulling, pushing, bending, and twisting can also increase the risk of hernia.
- Genetic: Some people have a genetic predisposition to developing herniated discs.
- Smoke: Scientists think that smoking reduces the supply of oxygen to the discs, causing them to break down more quickly.
Complications of herniated disc
The worst complication of herniated disc is the risk of permanent paralysis
Just above your waist is the end of the spinal cord, leading to a group of long nerve roots that resemble a horse’s tail (cauda equina – in Latin).
In rare cases, a herniated disc can compress the entire spine, including all of the caudal nerves. In that case, emergency surgery can help avoid permanent weakness or paralysis.
See your doctor right away if:
- Worsening symptoms: Pain, numbness, or weakness may increase to the point of interfering with your daily activities.
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction: A pinched nerve can cause urinary incontinence or difficulty urinating, even when the bladder is full.
- “Paralyzed on the saddle”: This means loss of sensation in the areas that touch the saddle – the inner thighs, the backs of the legs, and the buttocks.
How to prevent?
Exercise is always the best way to prevent and protect health
The following can help prevent a herniated disc:
- Do exercise: To strengthen muscles in a stable way and support the spine.
- Maintain good posture: This relieves pressure on your spine and discs; keep your back straight and aligned, especially when sitting for long periods of time; When lifting heavy objects properly, put weight on your legs, not your back.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts more pressure on the spine and discs, making them more prone to herniation.
Always maintaining a healthy weight will help you avoid many diseases, including bone and joint diseases
- Stop smoking: Avoid using any tobacco products.
Treatment varies on a case-by-case basis, with surgery at worst, depending on how uncomfortable you are and how far the disc has slipped out of place.
- Most people can relieve pain by using an exercise program that stretches and strengthens the back and surrounding muscles. A physical therapist can recommend herniated disc exercises to strengthen your back and relieve pain.
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and avoiding heavy, painful positions can also help. However, avoid taking the drug for more than 10 days. If the pain doesn’t go away, you need to see a doctor.
- Don’t shy away from any physical activity while you feel pain or discomfort from a hernia, as this can lead to muscle weakness and stiffness. Instead, try to stay active as much as possible through stretching or low-impact activities like walking or stationary cycling.
- Other physical therapies such as massage, ice, and heat will help the patient.
- You can experience muscle release therapy with qualified therapists. After the examination, the therapist will advise and work with you to create a treatment program depending on the situation of the herniated disc. The earlier the disease is detected, the faster you will recover and will not need other aggressive treatments such as surgery.
Stretching therapy is an effective therapy in the treatment of herniated discs, provided that symptoms are detected early, have not led to serious complications.
- If disc pain doesn’t respond to the over-the-counter treatments listed above, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications including muscle relaxants to reduce muscle spasms, narcotic pain medications, and more. or nerve pain relievers such as gabapentin or duloxetine.
- Your doctor may recommend surgery if symptoms do not subside in 6 weeks or if your condition affects muscle function. The surgeon can remove the damaged or protruding part of the disc without removing the entire disc. This is called a microdiscectomy.
- In more severe cases, the doctor may replace the disc with an artificial one or remove the disc and reattach the vertebrae. This procedure, along with skin grafting and spine grafting, adds stability to the patient’s spine.
See more: Is practicing yoga to cure herniated disc really safe?
The percentage of young people with herniated discs is increasing. Therefore, regardless of age, we also need to maintain regular physical activity to protect and maintain a strong, supple, disease-free body.
The disease can lead to dangerous complications, but if detected and know how to deal with it at the right time, you will only need some mild, lifestyle and physical therapy measures to be able to get rid of the disease and avoid it. bad consequences.
Herniated Disk https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/herniated-disk/symptoms-causes/syc-20354095 Accessed: 6/12/2020
Slipped (Herniated) Disc https://www.healthline.com/health/herniated-disk Accessed Date: 6/12/2020
What are the Treatments for a Herniated Disk? https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/treatments-for-herniated-disk Accessed date: 6/12/2020
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.