What’s The Difference between Bulging and Herniated Disc?by Zara Smith online digital marketar
Back pain is becoming more and more common due to our sedentary lifestyle and increased stress factors. Read on to understand the human spine and common back problems that most people face today.
Our spine gives the body support and structure. It helps to keep us upright and also protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves connecting our brain to the rest of the body to enable communication between them. The spinal column is made up of 33 individual bones called vertebrae and these vertebrae are separated by disks which provide cushioning between the bones. The discs prevent friction, act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, and gives the spine the flexibility to bend and move around.
The disks have 2 layers. The outer layer is made of strong cartilage called annulus fibrosus. And the inner soft jellylike material called nucleus pulposus. The discs are 80% water, so hydration is the key for a healthy spine. With age, discs begin to degenerate. Due to dehydration, the discs become stiff and lose their flexibility. Sometimes annulus fibrosus, the outer layer bulges outside its circumference. This is a bulging disk. A bulging disk is usually an age-related degeneration and may not always be painful.
When the soft inner nucleus protrudes out of the outer covering through a tear or crack, it is called herniated disc or slipped disc. Herniated discs usually happen in the lower back or neck, due to injury, strain, or twisting. A herniated disc may compress the spinal nerve, thereby causing pain and numbness.
The common symptoms of a herniated or slipped disc in lower back or neck are:
- Sciatica is a shooting pain or numbness from buttocks down to the leg or foot, mostly on one side.
- Sharp pain in the neck or shoulders that goes down to arm and fingers.
- Numbness on one side of the body
- Pain gets worse on moving around
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling or burning in the affected area
Let's take a look at some simple tips to prevent disc herniation.
- An improper posture during lifting objects can cause injury. Always squat down and bend from the hips, to keep the spine straight and safe while lifting things.
- Maintaining a healthy weight is essential. Being overweight puts pressure on the spine.
- Sitting for long hours at work or while driving should be avoided. Move around after every hour or two. Do some simple stretches and maintain correct posture while sitting and standing.
- Smoking causes disk degeneration so quit smoking for a healthy spine and life.
The diagnosis for bulging disc or herniated disc will include:
- Physical examination by the doctor to figure out the source and intensity of your pain.
- Studying the symptoms
- CT scans
- MRI scans
Once the root problem has been diagnosed, your doctor will design the best treatment for back pain. The first step would be nonsurgical. The treatment will include medications for managing pain and inflammation. Advanced physical therapy to strengthen the lower back and abdominal muscles. The best treatment for lower back pain will show positive results within a few weeks, and only a small number of patients with lumbar disk herniation need surgery. Only if the pain and symptoms get worse do doctors recommend a surgical procedure to treat the herniated disc. Recovery and rehabilitation after the surgery are significant and have to be supervised carefully before one resumes to regular activity.
Created on Jul 30th 2019 05:24. Viewed 66 times.