A herniated disc, also known as a bulged disc, slipped disc, prolapsed disc, or ruptured disc occurs when one of the discs in the back develops a weak spot, and the softer center portion of the disc ruptures or pushes out of the disc. Statistics have shown that over 90% of herniations occur in the lower back, specifically between the 4Th and 5Th Lumbar vertebrae.
Anatomy of Spinal Discs
Before we go further, let’s briefly go over the makeup of the spinal column and spinal discs to better understand how a disc can herniate. The spinal column is stacked together with bony vertebrae which provides a movable support to the body while also protecting the sensitive spinal cord. In between these vertebrae are discs which act as cushions which minimize stress and impact on the spinal column. To put it simply, think of a disc as a jelly doughnut. The inside of the disc has a softer center called the nucleus pulposus, which acts as a cushioning agent. When a disc wears, or is injured, this jelly-like substance can leak or bulge, making contact with a nerve, thus causing pain.
Symptoms of a Herniated Lower Back Disc
It is possible to have a herniated lower back disc and not experience any pain. Pain will not be felt until the herniated or bulging disc comes in contact with a nerve. The most common symptoms include local pain or radiating pain. Typically if someone has a herniated lower back disc, pain and numbness can be felt in the buttocks and down the legs. This symptom is called Sciatica and is also the main symptom of a herniated disc in the lower back.
Causes of a Herniated Lower Back Disc
Trauma to the spine and muscle imbalances in the body are the two most common causes of a herniated disc. Muscle imbalances in the body can put extra stress and wear and tear on the spinal discs and over time this added stress can cause a weak spot to develop in the disc. The disc can then easily herniate and make contact with a nerve once a weak spot is formed. Remember, barring trauma, herniated discs to not happen overnight, but are a result of long term stress and pressure being exerted on the disc.
Treatments for Herniated Lower Back Disc
Herniated discs can be a complicated condition, so a multiple treatment plan approach should offer the most effective results. Muscle Balance Therapy, can be the foundational tool for taking control of your pain. The program will teach you about postural dysfunctions, identify a postural dysfunction in your body, and give you the specific , targeted stretches and exercises to help get your body back into balance, which will remove additional stress and wear and tear off of your spine.
Everyone who has a herniated lower back disc, also has Trigger Points. Trigger points can be treated at home with a Trigger Point Therapy at home kit. Along with Muscle Balance Therapy and Trigger Point Therapy, Spinal Decompression is an excellent tool to add to a herniated disc treatment program. Inversion Therapy offers a plethora of health benefits, including taking pressure off of the spinal discs, increasing blood circulation, relieving stress and much more.
To learn more about Herniated disc treatments, please visit: http://www.losethebackpain.com/conditions/herniateddisc.htm