Understanding a Herniated Disc

Posted by on Aug 9, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Understanding a Herniated Disc

Your spine is made up of vertebrae that stack on top of each other. In between these vertebrae are disks that serve as the buffer, keeping one bone from rubbing up against another. Sometimes, these disks can “slip” and stick out through the vertebrae, irritating surrounding nerves. Age, obesity, low levels of physical activity, and continuous strain such as at a job often cause this.

Recognizing the Symptoms

A herniated disk most often leads to pain and sometimes, even numbness in the leg. A herniated disk may sound like a very serious problem, but for most people surgery is unnecessary and physical therapy proves the best solution.

If you have experienced this pain or numbness in the leg, a physical therapist can evaluate you to determine if you have a herniated disk. Special tests along with measurements of your posture and range of motion will usually show that a herniated disk is at fault. But, if you are experiencing extreme pain, muscle weakness, or loss of sensation, something more serious could be at fault and an MRI may be necessary.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Licensed physical therapists will guide you through a specific exercise regimen that will relieve the pressure placed on the nerves surrounding the disk, give as long-lasting good habits such as posture improvement, and specialized pain relief treatments to help you through the current pain.

Targeted strength and aerobic exercises will build muscle in specific areas, such as the arms and legs, to take pressure off the spine when working. In combination with stretches that will also aide to improve flexibility and motion throughout the joints.

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