Treating back pain can difficult enough if you are unable to pinpoint a source or cause of the pain. But treating a herniated disc can be virtually impossible because more than half of all sufferers don’t experience any back or leg pain. If the herniated disc lands on a nerve, you may experience no pain whatsoever initially. But if this disc moves even a millimeter you may end up with excruciating pain seemingly out of nowhere.
How do you know if you have a herniated disc? Truthfully the only way to be certain is a visit to your physician. With or without symptoms it isn’t something a lay person can diagnose. The simplest explanation of a herniated disc is a weakening of the outer portion of the spinal disc that causes the inner section to press out. For a better understanding however, refer to our article: Herniated Discs, What They Are and What You Can Do About Them.
What Causes A Herniated Disc
The most common cause of a herniated disc is vigorous physical activity that can place strain on the spine. Sometimes trauma can be the cause of a herniated disc as well. These types of activities can displace the spinal discs, or herniate them, and lead to severe pain.
Repeatedly performing strenuous activities over time can cause wear and tear on the discs, and eventually wear them down until they touch down on the nerves, causing pain.
Symptoms Of A Herniated Disc
Without symptoms there really is no way to identify a herniated disc or treat it, but there are some symptoms that will let you know a problem exists with your spinal discs. A herniated disc and leg pain are often synonymous as the spine and legs are connected.
A disc that has been herniated will cause back pain and leg pain in varying degrees, depending on just how much the disc is pressing on a nerve. Some will experience mild pain with a tingling sensation and a dull ache. At the other end of the spectrum a herniated disc can cause severe back and leg pain accompanied by a burning or pulsing sensation. Most of the time this pain will radiate down one side of the body.
In the worse cases, symptoms of a herniated disc can include a sharp shooting pain in the butt, hip or leg. Numbness and weakness in the leg an hip may also be an indicator.
Treating A Herniated Disc & Leg Pain
Some with a slipped disc may experience symptoms for just a few weeks or months before the pain lessens or goes away altogether. For those who experience prolonged pain, there are treatment options available.
The first course of action to treat a herniated disc and leg pain is pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications. The goal of these pain relief medicines is to relieve the pain and reduce the swelling associated with it. Your physician may prescribe NSAIDs, also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These are classified as narcotics to reduce leg pain and back pain.
If you prefer a more natural pain management routine, consider natural anti-inflammatory supplements like Heal-n-Soothe. They are as effective without the chemical side effects.
Those who experience unbearable pain may receive steroid injections directly into the area where the disc is herniated. These injections can help relieve the pain and reduce inflammation around the disc. The effect of this is short-term relief of pain and other symptoms.
Other treatments for a herniated disc and leg pain include lifestyle changes and therapy. Adopting a healthy diet along with an exercise and stretching regimen are very effective for strengthening muscles and improving flexibility. Exercise and stretching will relieve pain, and improve posture which will also reduce the pain of a pinched nerve.
Muscle balance or physical therapy has also proven effective for reducing leg pain associated with a herniated disc. Muscle balance therapy will identify which muscles need to be balanced and focus on balancing them. Physical therapy will provide a long-term regimen of stretching and muscle exercises to keep the strong, flexible and relaxed.
Work with your physician to find out the best form of treatment for a herniated disc and leg pain. Find the most effective treatments for herniated discs here.