What Is a Herniated Disc?

Category: Blog

If you’re experiencing pain, numbness, or weakness in your thighs or shoulder, it could be from a herniated disc. This is a spinal problem whose symptoms vary with each patient, but without proper management and examination, this condition could complicate into something far more serious.

To understand what a herniated disc, we must first understand how the spine works. Your spine is made up of bones, but in order to provide your back with a range of movement, the bones have discs in between each bone to allow some degree of flexibility, allowing you to bend and move your back around. These discs are normally sealed within an exterior casing, but wear and tear can cause this casing to wear down, making a rupture in the casing more likely. When this happens, your disc may slip out, which can irritate the nerves in your spinal cord. Depending on the location of the slipped disc, this may affect your thighs (a slip in your lower back) or your shoulders (a slipped disc higher up in your back). No matter the cause or the location, this can cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected areas where the nerves have been disrupted by the stress exerted by the herniated disc.

Age-related wear and tear may be one of the most common causes, but this doesn’t mean a herniated disc can’t be prevented. The best ways to do so is by taking part in exercise that strengthens your back muscles to help support your spine. Maintaining good posture also relieves the stress from your spine as well. Treating your spine well by taking as much pressure of it as possible will go a long way to preventing a herniated disc from occurring in the first place.

Treatments for herniated discs include chiropractic care, physical therapy, surgery, or steroid injections to relieve the affected nerves. To learn more about the best treatment solutions for your slipped disc, contact us at Manhattan Integrative Medicine to find out more about our physical therapy and rehabilitation services.