Let me start this post off with my personal history and why I became determined to discover what to know about herniated discs. About two and half years ago, I couldn’t get up off the couch when I needed to leave for work. I was diagnosed with L4 and L5 herniations. Although improved, I’m still not entirely “better”. About 5 years earlier than this episode, I also had the same two discs herniated. That episode did take about six months to heal but I did fully heal.
Okay, I was 5 years older but I still felt I was missing the answer as to why I might never be normal again. The only thing I could guess was it had to do with my careers. I was working on my feet as an Assistant Store Manager in retail the first time and as a Customer Service Representative sitting on my butt when the more recent episode occurred. So hopefully learning more about herniated discs will help us out.
What Is A Herniated Disc?
It is a damaged disc where the normally healthy spongy material between the vertebrae bulges out and places pressure (in most cases) on the nerves in the spinal cord. Although most often occurring in the lumbar region of the spine (as in my case and as is the focus of this post), discs can herniate or rupture anywhere in the neck or spine.
What Causes Herniated Discs?
|*Repetitive Motion||*Improper Posture|
|*Coughing/Sneezing||*Accidental and Sports Injuries|
What Are The Symptoms?
|*Low Back Pain||*Sciatic Nerve Pain|
|*Muscle Pain||*Muscle Spasms|
|*Numbness and Tingling||*Muscle Weakness|
|*None If No Nerve Pressure||*Radiating Rear or Leg Pain|
|*1-2 Days Rest Initially||*Physical Therapy|
|*Walking/Light Exercise||*Spinal Manipulation|
|*Heat or Ice Therapy||*Pain Medication|
|*OTC Anti-Inflammatory Drugs||*Surgery (Very Rarely)|
Try These Prevention Tips
|*Maintain A Healthy Weight||*Regular Exercise (Low Impact)|
|*Proper Lifting Techniques||*Proper Posture|
|*Lumbar Support When Sitting||*Leg Pillows When Sleeping|
Just A Few More Things…
The pain a person might suffer from a herniated disc can range from no pain at all, if there is no pressure on the spinal nerves, to extremely severe. In some cases, the pain may be accompanied by a limited range of motion or inability to engage in normal activities. Normally the disc with heal itself in time but may take weeks or months in many cases. Most people are healed within 6 months. I’m not that lucky this time.
Unfortunately, once any of us have had a herniated disc or any other back problems, we become much more susceptible to reoccurrences or developing chronic conditions. So once we’re not in a pain episode, it’s really important to practice as much preventative self-care as possible. As for me, I’ll continue on with my stretching, exercise and posture routines. What about you?
In both instances, I received medical treatment and I suggest you do the same. In fact, if you’re in any pain from a herniated disc, I cannot image that you would be able to refrain from seeing a specialist. Also there are some symptoms I didn’t even cover here that can indicate a much more serious condition.
If you have a story to tell or would like to leave a comment, please feel free to do so.
Thanks for reading,
Image Credit/Copywright: woodoo007 / 123RF Stock Photo