Our spine is made up of vertebrae that are cushioned by rubbery disks with a softer jelly-like encasing. A herniated disk, also known as a slipped disc or a ruptured disc, is caused when some of that padding slips and causes your nerves to be pinched between bone. Disk herniation is often caused by wear and tear as you age, also known as disk degeneration. As our bodies mature, our spinal disks lose water content making them less flexible and more prone to rupture. This trauma can occur when you are active, especially in people with physically demanding jobs such as repetitive lifting, pulling, pushing, bending sideways and twisting. Incorrect lifting techniques, such as lifting with your back versus using your leg muscles are a common culprit in disc herniation. Excess weight and genetics are also factors in disc herniations.
Symptoms of a slipped disc vary depending on the location of the herniation. Ruptured discs in the lower back are most often identified by sciatica, a sudden sharp, shooting pain that radiates down the buttocks and into the legs. Pressure on your lower spinal nerves can also cause a tingling sensation or numbness in the legs and feet, as well as muscle weakness. Loss of bladder control is also a rare symptom of a herniated disc and should be addressed immediately.
Disc herniations occurring in the neck affect the upper body, often rooted by pain in your trapezius muscles between your neck and shoulders. Having tingling, numbness, and weakness in one arm is an identifiable factor of a slipped disc, as well as a burning pain in the shoulders and neck.
Our chiropractic offices in Portland and Hillsboro take a non-surgical and non-invasive approach to disc herniation, slipped disc and ruptured disc treatment. A thorough examination and proper diagnosis by our chiropractor are necessary to begin treating your disc herniation. Our team takes a comprehensive approach, considering your diet, health, and level of fitness as factors in healing. Our treatment options include spinal manipulation, therapeutic exercises, and acupuncture.