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Back pain is one of the most common medical complaints among both men and women, ranging from mild to severe and often interfering with normal day-to-day activities and even sleep. There are lots of causes of back pain, and among the most common are disc-related problems like herniated discs.
Discs are tough, spongy structures located between each pair of spine bones or vertebrae. Normally, discs provide shock absorption that helps protect the spine and the nerves that travel through it, as well as maintaining flexibility in the spine. But sometimes, the discs shift out of their normal positions and extend beyond the edges of the vertebrae. As the spine moves, the vertebrae press on these “slipped” discs, pinching and compressing them. A herniated disc occurs when the disc becomes severely pinched, sometimes rupturing and releasing some of the gel-like material it contains.
Herniated discs press against the nerves and irritate them as they exit the spine, and the leaking gel can increase irritation and painful symptoms. In addition to pain and aching around the spine itself, a herniated disc also can cause radiating symptoms anywhere along the nerve pathway - symptoms like dull aching, shooting “electricity-like” pain, numbness, tingling, pins-and-needles sensations and even muscle weakness.
Herniated discs can be caused by a traumatic injury like an injury from a fall, a car accident or a sports injury, or they can be caused by lifestyle factors, like being overweight, having poor posture or being very sedentary. People who spend a lot of time standing or sitting at work or school also have an increased risk of developing a herniated disc. In some cases, an underlying spinal condition can cause discs to move out of position.
Herniated disc treatment begins with a review of the patient’s symptoms and a physical exam and evaluation to determine the location of the disc that’s causing those symptoms. In some cases, X-rays may be ordered to obtain additional information and to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms.
In most cases, spinal adjustments will be performed to help coax the disc back into its proper location. Gentle traction, stretching exercises, and massage therapy may be recommended to promote circulation and lymphatic drainage, both of which play an important role in reducing inflammation and irritation. And finally, patients will receive lifestyle guidance aimed at helping them relieve symptoms and prevent them from recurring.
Churn Creek Chiropractic is a top provider of chiropractic care in Redding, CA, thanks to its dedication to the most effective, advanced treatment techniques and it’s focus on patient-centered holistic care. Under the direction of chiropractor Dr. Donovan Hutchings, D.C., the team at Churn Creek Chiropractic offers the most innovative treatment options based on each patient’s unique needs for targeted therapy aimed at achieving optimal results. If you’re suffering from back or neck pain, chronic headaches, or other symptoms related to herniated discs, contact the office at 530-221-4991 and schedule a consultation today.