Disc Herniation, How To Treat And Prevent It?


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Caring for our body also includes a fundamental part, such as the spine. So we can prevent the appearance of pathologies, such as a disc herniation.

Experts such as Dr. José Miguel Guijarro (head of the Spine Surgery Unit of the HM Montepríncipe University Hospital) estimate that close to 80% of the population will suffer lumbar problems such as herniated disc or low back pain throughout their lives. So do you want to discover the best-herniated disc treatment?.

The progressive appearance of this type of spinal problem seems to be associated with population aging, postural hygiene, being overweight, or living habits. And this article explores this issue, the prevention, and treatment of herniated discs.

Do You Know Your Spine?

Do You Know Your Spine_

Our spine made up of 24 bones or vertebrae in charge of supporting the trunk of our body and protecting the spinal cord. Did you know?.

Between each pair of vertebrae, we find the intervertebral discs, inside each disc, is a soft gel-like substance called the nucleus pulposus. In addition, this substance serves as a buffer for friction between vertebrae as well as absorbing the impact of our actions.

This chain of bones classified into sections: 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, 5 lumbar vertebrae, sacral bone, and coccyx. So the herniated disc appears more frequently in the cervical and lumbar areas.

Herniated Disc Definition

Our intervertebral discs can be subject to excessive pressure or wear, causing a break in the wall that contains the gelatinous nucleus. So when this happens, the viscous substance exits into the intervertebral space-occupying it.

The release of this lubricating gel in the space that separates the vertebrae. As a result, it generates pressure and constriction on the nerves that pass through the medullary canal or on the spinal nerves causing pain in the extremities. This is called a herniated disc.

Cause And Risk Factors Of Herniated Disc

Among the most frequent causes, we find the natural deterioration caused by age. The aging of our body associated with the loss of density and liquid content of the intervertebral discs, which reduced in size and resistance to impact.

Regarding the risk factors we can find:

Improperly carrying heavy objects: using back force rather than leg force when lifting weight, as well as rotating the spine or making sudden movements, can contribute to injury.

Intense and continuous physical activities: those actions that suppose a repeated impact on our spine can wear down the wall that contains the nucleus of the intervertebral discs, increasing our vulnerability.

Lack of postural hygiene: sitting in inappropriate postures for long periods can cause wear and pressure on the inner discs.

Sedentary lifestyle: when our body lacks healthy physical exercise habits, our locomotor system weakens, and muscles can lose tone. This contributes to our column receiving more weight and pressure, thus increasing the wear of the shock-absorbing discs.

Overweight: Excess weight associated with an increase in the pressure supported by the joints and the spine, raising the level of wear.

What are the symptoms?

We will talk about the symptoms associated with the two most frequent locations of the herniated disc.

1. Cervical Disc Herniation

It is considered the pain in the neck and arms as an initial sign of impairment in the spinal nerves. Though it appears in the form of dull and constant pain when moving the neck that radiates towards the arm and the hand.

When the symptoms vary towards tingling in the extremities, numbness, or the presence of weakness in the arms and hands, we can suspect that the involvement is more severe.

2. Lumbar Disc Herniation

Stinging pain may develop from the back to the affected leg, hip, or buttock. This is due to the involvement of the sciatic nerve that becomes inflamed, causing discomfort.

It can be aggravated by bending the back or after standing or sitting for a while.

Again, the presence of tingling sensations or weakness may be a symptom of greater involvement.

It accompanied by problems raising the legs or even loss of bladder control.

Diagnostic Tests

Diagnosis begins with a physical examination to assess the condition of the spine, arms, and lower extremities—aspects related to mobility, flexibility, or sensitivity taken into account. If necessary, imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI use.

Herniated Disc Treatment

Herniated Disc Treatment

Non-Surgical Treatments for Disc Herniation

When surgery is not necessary, herniated disc treatment intended to alleviate pain. And in general, these methods include:

  • Physical rest: Avoiding activities that have promoted wear and tear or making movements effortlessly will help our bodies recover. Taking 1 to 2 days off can be an excellent option to combat present symptoms.
  • Use of anti-inflammatory drugs: Under the supervision of a professional, certain medications intended to treat inflammatory processes can improve our symptoms.
  • Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy treatment from north York helps to strengthen the trunk muscles which is recommended in cases of the herniated disc.
  • Epidural steroid injections: Its effect is to reduce inflammation in a focused way.
  • Natural remedies: They based on the anti-inflammatory principles associated with certain plants or foods. Example infusions of willow bark consumed 2 to 3 times a day.

2. Surgical Treatments for Disc Herniation

In some cases, the best-herniated disc treatment option is surgery. The two possibilities that carried out today are:

  • Decompression surgery: Space through which the spinal cord passes enlarged, relieving tingling and weakness.
  • Disc replacement: When the herniated disc excessively affects the intervertebral disc. So it can be removed and replaced with an artificial one.

Herniated Disc Prevention

Some tips would be:

  • Do physical exercise: Moderate physical exercise (walking fast or running smoothly) can help our intervertebral discs to regenerate, preventing the appearance of a herniated disc.
  • Exercise your back muscles to maintain their tone and help reduce pressure on the spine.
  • Maintain proper weight.
  • Perform the movements smoothly and avoid improper weight-bearing.
  • Take care of your postural hygiene. But especially if you have to sit or stand for long periods.

Consult with your doctor about the best options for the prevention and treatment of herniated discs. And he is better than anyone who can guide you about it.

And remember, change your habits, put aside a sedentary lifestyle, and pay attention to how you exert your strength when lifting objects.

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