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Herniated Discs and Low Back Pain: What You Should Know

Spinal discs in the lower back absorb shocks between your vertebrae, support your upper body, and enable you to make smooth movements. 

When your discs herniate — whether by bulging, rupturing, or leaking some of their inner material — they become a source of radiating pain, stiffness, and discomfort.

We asked our expert at Pinnacle Health Chiropractic all about herniated discs. Read on to learn about the causes, risk factors, and treatments for herniated discs.

Herniated disc causes and risk factors 

If radiating pain and stiffness put you out of service for hours or even days at the time, nothing is more important than getting to the bottom of what’s causing your suffering. 

Typically, the discs between your vertebrae herniate due to age-related disc degeneration or pressure on the spine. However, trauma from a fall or a blow can also cause a herniated disc.

You may be at a higher risk of developing a herniated disc if any of the following apply to you:

Also, smoking can reduce the amount of oxygen your discs receive, which causes them to degenerate more quickly. 

How a herniated disc causes pain 

When one or several of your discs herniate, they push against the nearby nerves, causing irritation, pain, weakness, and tingling. 

You can have a herniated disc without experiencing any symptoms. You can also have a herniated disc that flares up only when you lift heavy weights or endure strenuous exercise.

In rare cases, a herniated disc can put pressure on the entire spinal canal, leading to severe symptoms such as bladder and bowel incontinence, worsening pain, numbnesses, and loss of sensation. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical treatment, as you may need surgery to avoid permanent damage to your spine and nerves. 

How lower back pain is treated 

Lower pain caused by a herniated disc is often treated with a combination of noninvasive measures, including the following:

All of the exercises and therapies mentioned above are customized to your pain level, so you don’t have to worry about discomfort throughout the sessions. If low back pain, stiffness, and weakness are preventing you from enjoying your favorite activities, contact us to schedule an appointment, and get expert advice on your herniated discs.

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