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A bulging disc can mean day after day of pain and discomfort. In extreme cases of bulging disc, sometimes surgery is the only recourse available. But how safe IS surgery for bulging disc? What are the risks? And what are the types of surgeries to consider?
What Causes Herniated Discs In The Neck?
Several terms are used to explain pathology of spinal disc and pains associated with it such as bulging disc, pinched nerve, or herniated disc. These terms are often used distinctively as well as interchangeably. However, it is unfortunate that the healthcare professionals and doctors do not settle on one definition of these problems. This frustrates the patients because they cannot understand the reason for referring different names for one problem. In addition, you might hear names such as torn disc, ruptured disc, collapsed disc, slipped disc, disc protrusion, black disc, and disc disease, which may in turn add to your confusion.
However, a herniated disc can be described as the issue related to one among the rubbery disks or cushions between the vertebrae or bones that pile up to create the spine. You can call the spinal disk as a jelly donut that has soft center enclosed in a tough exterior. When a softer jelly pushes out from the crack in the exterior, it is also called ruptured disk or slipped disc. The herniated disc irritates that nerves residing close by and hence, result in numbness, weakness, or pain in a leg or an arm. On the contrary, many people do not experience any symptoms of a herniated disk, so the majority of people do not require any surgical act to rectify the problem.
It implies that many people may have herniated disk and not know it at all. The herniated disk may be noticed on the spinal image of the persons who do not show any symptoms. The majority of herniated disks occur in the lower back or lumbar spine; though they may also take place in the cervical spine or neck.
>> NECK TRACTION THERAPY is one of the safest non-invasive to treat herniated disc
Symptoms of herniated disk
There are several common symptoms and signs of herniated disk:
Pain in leg or arm
If the herniated disk has occurred in your lower back, there will be severe pain in your buttocks, calf, or thighs, or even in a part of your foot. If the herniated disk has occurred in the neck, you will typically endure the pain in your arm or shoulder. The pain may fire in your leg or arm when you sneeze, cough, or shift the spine into a few specific positions.
Tingling or numbness
People who experience herniated disk often go through tingling or numbness in certain parts of their body functioned by the disturbed nerves.
The muscles that function because of the affected nerves, also tend to experience weakness, which may make you stumble or even affect your capacity to hold or lift things.
Causes of herniated disk
There are two main causes of herniated disk:
Many a times, people undergo trauma in their spine or neck, which can cause a disk to slip, rupture, or bulge. It makes the nerves get crushed among the bones and cause stabbing, shooting pain in the back.
Another major cause of herniated disk is growing age. This cause is more often seen than an injury or trauma. As people age, bones of their spine and their supporting disks become weaker. Many a times, excessive weakness of the disks makes them bulge under weight and hence, the nerves start feeling the pressure and pain. Age related wear and tear of disks makes them lose their content of water, which makes them lose their flexibility and become more prone to rupturing and tearing with even a minor twist or strain.
Using the wrong muscles
When you use the muscles of your back in place of your thigh and leg muscles to lift heavy and large objects may also lead to herniated disk because it may turn and twist while lifting.
Treatments available for herniated disk
Several kinds of treatments are available for herniated disk:
Non-invasive and invasive treatment
The invasive treatments of herniated disk include laser surgery and traditional surgery. These treatments are meant to replace/ repair damaged disk or re-align vertebra. The invasive treatment or surgery is also done when herniated disc occurs because of bone chips that have to be removed.
On the other hand, non-invasive treatments do not need any surgery on the body of the patient. In addition, non- invasive treatments are safer, cheaper, and most of the times more effective than surgical treatments. This is the reason the doctors all over the globe recommend using non- invasive treatments before going for surgery.
How to avoid herniated disk
The best way to avoid herniated disk is to maintain good body posture just because not all herniated discs are caused by injury or trauma. When you keep slouching for decades in your office or home, you may inherit the risk of herniated disk. You can check your posture right now. Is your head right above your neck or is the head leaning forward? If latter is the case, you need to work on your body posture.
You can also practice correct posture by balancing a heavy book on the head and do not let it fall. This may sound ridiculous but this method is actually very effective. If you have a great body posture, you can avoid several problems in your spine and other parts of the body including your eyes, hands, and legs. In addition, good body posture also makes you look confident and allows you to enjoy things more. You must make it a point to check your posture often to avoid problems in future.
When you should see the doctor
You must seek the attention of your doctor if the pain in your back or neck shoots down your leg or arm, or the pain come together with tingling, weakness, or numbness. A bulging disk may mean every day of discomfort and pain. If the case of herniated disk becomes extreme, the only treatment available is surgery, but it is not an advisable solution. This is because spinal surgery has a lower rate of success. Sometimes, the symptoms and pain of herniated disk becomes even more prominent and unbearable after the surgery.
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