Your spinal discs have a soft, jelly-like center called the nucleus. The nucleus is encased in a tough, rubbery exterior called the annulus. When the nucleus pushes through the annulus, or it ruptures, it causes a herniated or bulging disc. A herniated disc can occur in any part of the spine and can irritate the surrounding nerves. Fortunately, the professionals at Buchanan Health Center – Integrated Medical Services in Leesburg, FL can treat this condition.
Who Is at Risk for a Herniated Disc?
Anyone can develop a herniated disc, but there are factors that can increase your chances.
- Occupation: If you have a physically demanding job that requires repetitive pushing, pulling, lifting, twisting, or bending sideways, your risk of developing a herniated disc increases.
- Weight: Carrying around excess weight can put stress on the discs in your lower back, which can increase your risk of developing a herniated disc.
- Genetics: It is possible to inherit a predisposition for a herniated disc.
- Smoking: Smoking can reduce the amount of oxygen to the disc, which can cause the annulus to break down faster, resulting in a herniated disc.
What Are Herniated Disc Symptoms?
In most cases, herniated discs occur in the lower back. However, they can also occur in the neck. The symptoms you experience will depend on the location of the disc and the nerve that it is pressing on.
If the herniated disc is in your lower back, you can experience pain in your buttocks, thigh, calf, and foot.
If the herniated disc is in your neck, the pain will be in your shoulder or arm. You can also experience pain in your arm or leg when you cough, sneeze, or move in certain positions.
The other symptoms include:
- Numbness and tingling: Numbness and tingling are common in the area where the herniated disc is affecting the nerve.
- Weakness: The muscles in the area where the herniated disc occurred can become weak. This can make walking, lifting, and holding items difficult.
How Is a Herniated Disc Diagnosed?
Our medical team will diagnose a herniated disc during a physical exam. We will check your back for tenderness and have you move in different ways to see what causes the most pain. We will also perform an exam to check your reflexes, walking ability, your ability to feel light touch, and your muscle strength.
If the medical team suspects a herniated disc, we might order other tests, like X-rays or diagnostic exams.
How Is a Herniated Disc Treated?
After a diagnosis, our medical team will create a personalized treatment plan for you. We may use one or a combination of methods to alleviate pain and heal your spine so that your pain does not reoccur. One of the most common methods our chiropractor uses to treat herniated discs is chiropractic adjustments. When your spine is not properly aligned, it can push discs out of place. Using gentle manipulations, we will stretch and align your spine to allow the disc to return to its proper place. We provide several adjustment techniques, including manual, Activator, Cox flexion-distraction, drop technique, and Gonstead diversified technique.
Other treatments we offer include trigger point therapy, physical rehabilitation, platelet-rich plasma, and more. Our rehabilitation department will provide you with stretching and strengthening exercises. These will help improve your range of motion and strengthen the muscles in your back so you can avoid future injury.
Combining treatment methods will speed up your recovery process and help your body heal. Our methods are non-invasive and drug-free, so you can avoid risky surgeries and medications.
Schedule an Appointment for Herniated Disc Treatment
If you are experiencing symptoms of a herniated or bulging disc, don’t wait to get treatment. Your condition could worsen. At Buchanan Health Center – Integrated Medical Services, serving Leesburg and The Villages, FL, we will provide the proper treatment methods for your condition. We will get you back to living a pain-free life. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call us today.