Injuries to the intervertebral discs are often a result of repetitive trauma and long-term fatigue. Examples include sitting for long periods, poor posture, and work duties requiring excessive rounding of the low back. These injuries may also result from severe traumatic accidents such as a fall, car accidents, or any high impact forces applied to the neck or low back.
Disc injuries often occur in those who spend long periods in lumbar flexion (i.e. sitting, bending over, etc) or whom display significant anterior head carriage (forward head posture).
A herniated disc occurs when a "weak" point develops in the outer wall of the disc, the annular fibers. The nucleus of the disc, a dense fluid like gel, becomes displaced from the center of the intervertebral disc and crepes towards the outer edge, pushing up against the annular fibers. When the annular fibers become weak, the gel filled center travels outward putting pressure on the nerves creating pain.
What are the Symptoms of a Disc Herniation?
Disc herniations typically produce pain that is more intense in the mornings and dissipates throughout the day. Pain often worsens with sitting, rotating, or rounding of the lower back for long periods of time. Pain may be experience within the neck or low back; however, pain is often associated with radicular symptoms within the extremities. Stiff or restricted antalgic posture that is limited or difficult to correct is often a hallmark for disc derrangement individuals.
Disc herniation cannot be confirmed 100% without a MRI, but often MRIs are unnecessary unless one is experiencing progressive neurological symptoms or is not responding to conservative care measures. Our doctors will make the appropriate referral if imaging is necessary.
Consult a Doctor if the Following Occur:
Experience sudden change in bowel and bladder function
Radiating leg or arm pain
Antalgia (unwanted leaning of body)
Inability to bear weight
Loss of feeling or sensations below the injury
Pain during normal daily functions
What are Common Treatment for a Herniated Disc?
Chiropractic, rehabilitation, and McKenzie Method are powerful treatment protocols and procedures for disc herniations. Treatment focuses on eliminating pain, restoring normal function, and patient education on the mechanisms which have lead to the dysfunction causing pain. In more extreme cases or those that do not respond to conservative care, surgery may be necessary.
New Patients are Always Welcome!
The doctors at F.I.T. Muscle and Joint Clinic in Overland Park & Shawnee, Kansas and Lees Summit, Missouri are here to help lessen and relieve your herniated disc related pain. Do not hesitate, contact us today for leading evidence-based assessments and treatments for your musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.