Certain Sleep Positions Help Relieve Herniated Disc Pain
Pain from a lumbar herniated disc can worsen during the night. You may find comfort sleeping in a position that relieves pressure from the spine. A couple good options include:
Your preferred sleeping position and pillow placements will likely be determined by the location of your herniated disc. Try a few different pillow and positions to see what works best for you.
Annular Tears & Bulges In Spinal Discs
There is no tearing of the annular fibers in a disc bulge and no migration of the nucleus. However, the buckling fibers may irritate the Sinuvertebral Nerve. The Sinuvertebral Nerve is a nociceptive nerve located in-between the outer layers of the annulus fibrosus. This type of pain, along with the pain caused by Degenerative Disc Disease, is often referred to as discogenic pain .
Although a bulge can be asymptomatic , it still is considered a health problem and should not be ignored. Neglect and improper therapy can accelerate the damage and predisposes a disc to a more severe and acutely painful condition such as a slipped disc .
Many therapeutic procedures have come and gone, some helpful while others made things worse. To date, non-surgical decompression therapy is the best non-operative option for disc bulges or herniations . In other words, other forms of non-operative treatments will not repair without spinal decompression therapy.
A Surprising Fact About Lumbar Disc Degeneration
Did you know?
The doctors call it lumbar disc degeneration disease, but its actually not a disease in the traditional sense of the word.
If it was, every one of us would be diagnosed with degenerative discs at some point.
Because just like other parts of our body, our spinal discs deteriorate over time.
But heres the good news:
There are more than a few natural treatments for disc degeneration.
Just stick with me, and youll get all the inside information about the remarkable natural options you have right now.
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When Should I See A Doctor
Initially, you can treat herniated disk pain at home. But you should see your doctor if:
- Pain interferes with daily life, like going to work.
- Symptoms arent better after four to six weeks.
- Symptoms get worse.
- You develop loss of bladder or bowel control.
- You notice tingling, numbness or loss of strength in your arms, hands, legs or feet.
- You have trouble standing or walking.
Herniated Or Disk In The Neck
Symptoms of a herniated disk in your neck include:
- Pain near or between your shoulder blades.
- Pain that travels to your shoulder, arm and sometimes your hand and fingers.
- Neck pain, especially in the back and on the sides of your neck.
- Pain that increases when bending or turning your neck.
- Numbness or tingling in your arms.
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Symptoms Of Herniated Lumbar Disc:
Lower back pain Leg pain Leg numbness or tingling Pain is worse from sitting Restricted trunk flexionSciatica pain
Please note, a herniated disc DOESNT always cause pain, so you must get a proper diagnosis.
What does a herniated disc feel like?
Lower back pain is typically the first symptom of a lumbar disc herniation. Often this pain will last for a few days and then subside, but leg pain, numbness or tingling, and/or weakness of the lower extremity often follows.
Typically the leg pain eventually travels below the knee and can even affect the ankle and foot.
How long does the pain last?
Most patients with a lumbar disc herniation will improve gradually over a period of days to weeks, with most patients being symptom free within 3 to 4 months.
Patients that actively participate in an exercise program often report a significant reduction of pain and improved ability to perform their activities of daily living.
How Is A Diagnosis Made
When you first experience pain, consult your family doctor. Your doctor will take a complete medical history to understand your symptoms, any prior injuries or conditions, and determine if any lifestyle habits are causing the pain. Next a physical exam is performed to determine the source of the pain and test for any muscle weakness or numbness.
Your doctor may order one or more of the following imaging studies: X-ray, MRI scan, myelogram, CT scan, or EMG. Based on the results, you may be referred to a neurologist, orthopedist, or neurosurgeon for treatment.
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How To Fix A Bulging Disk
Bulging discs are one of the most common conditions that will derail your workouts quickly. In this video, Im going to show you how to fix a bulging disc in your lower back without requiring surgery. In just 3 simple steps you are going to be able to get rid of the pain that is wreaking havoc on your training and making your life miserable.
The first thing that needs to be discussed however are the terms used to describe the condition. Some people refer to a bulging disc as a herniated disc. In both cases, we are talking about a scenario where the inner disc material has protruded from the disc but has not reached a point of no return. The point at which the disc can no longer be repaired without surgery is more accurately called a ruptured disc.
Bulging discs are a very common problem and one that we all might have to some degree if we were to MRI our backs. The thing is however, just because we may have a disc that is bulging does not mean that we will have symptoms. The only time it starts to matter is when the presence of the disc starts to become symptomatic and interferes with your life or workouts.
The good news about disc issues however is that 98 percent of them are non-operative and solved with a dedication to just a few simple steps. One of those steps however is not stretching the lower back. This may come as a surprise to you, especially if you feel that your low back has become tight or sore as a result of your disc issues.
What Causes Slipped Discs
A slipped disc occurs when the outer ring becomes weak or torn and allows the inner portion to slip out. This can happen with age. Certain motions may also cause a slipped disc. A disc can slip out of place while you are twisting or turning to lift an object. Lifting a very large, heavy object can place great strain on the lower back, resulting in a slipped disc. If you have a very physically demanding job that requires a lot of lifting, you may be at increased risk for slipped discs.
Overweight individuals are also at increased risk for a slipped disc because their discs must support the additional weight. Weak muscles and a sedentary lifestyle may also contribute to the development of a slipped disc.
As you get older, you are more likely to experience a slipped disc. This is because your discs begin to lose some of their protective water content as you age. As a result, they can slip more easily out of place. They are more common in men than women.
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Physical Therapy Guide To Herniated Disk
A herniated disk occurs when the cushion-like cartilage between the bones of the spine is torn, and the gelatin-like core of the disk leaks. Often mistakenly called a slipped disk, a herniated disk can be caused by sudden trauma or by long-term pressure on the spine. This condition most often affects people aged 30 to 50 years men are twice as likely to be diagnosed as women. Repeated lifting, participating in weight-bearing sports, obesity, smoking, and poor posture are all risk factors for a herniated disk. The majority of herniated disks do not require surgery, and respond best to physical therapy. Physical therapists design personalized treatment programs to help people with herniated disks regain normal movement, reduce pain, and get back to their regular activities.
Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Slipped Disc
You can have a slipped disc in any part of your spine, from your neck to your lower back. The lower back is one of the more common areas for slipped discs. Your spinal column is an intricate network of nerves and blood vessels. A slipped disc can place extra pressure on the nerves and muscles around it.
Symptoms of a slipped disc include:
- pain and numbness, most commonly on one side of the body
- pain that extends to your arms or legs
- pain that worsens at night or with certain movements
- pain that worsens after standing or sitting
- pain when walking short distances
- unexplained muscle weakness
- tingling, aching, or burning sensations in the affected area
The types of pain can vary from person to person. See your doctor if your pain results in numbness or tingling that affects your ability to control your muscles.
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Diagnosis For A Herniated Disc
Only a licensed healthcare professional can diagnose a herniated disc. If you are experiencing symptoms of a herniated disc, your doctor will perform a physical examination.
During this evaluation, you might be asked to walk on your toes and on your heels. Your doctor might check your reflexes and test how much sensation you are experiencing in your legs and feet. You might also undergo a neurological evaluation to check to see if you are experiencing any loss of strength or sensation in your muscles.
If you are experiencing sciatica, your doctor might perform what is called the Straight Leg Test. They will ask you to lie on your back while they lift the leg that hurts. Where you experience pain during this test helps the doctor assess whether or not you have a herniated disc.
If a herniated disc is suspected after performing basic tests, your doctor might order a magnetic resonance imaging scan. This will provide a clear image of your spine and confirm the diagnosis.
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How Is Lumbar Disk Disease Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, you may have one or more of the following tests:
X-ray. A test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic resonance imaging . A procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
Myelogram. A procedure that uses dye injected into the spinal canal to make the structure clearly visible on X-rays.
Computed tomography scan . An imaging procedure that uses X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
Electromyography . A test that measures muscle response or electrical activity in response to a nerves stimulation of the muscle.
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What Are Spinal Discs
There is a spinal disc between each of the 24 bones in the spine. The spinal discs act like shock absorbers in the spine, allowing you to bend and twist. The rubbery discs, also known as intervertebral discs, are filled with gel-like fluid, making the spine flexible.
Together the vertebrae and the discs surround and protect the spinal cord, the bundle of nerves that connects your brain to the nerves in your body.
Stretch #5 Hip Flexor Stretch
Building off of the concept of posterior chain it is important to consider the anterior chain as well.
Deficits in strength and flexibility can lead to several issues and lower back pain is most commonly coupled with weak and tight hip flexors. The hip flexors are the iliacus and psoas muscles. They are primarily responsible for lifting the femur into flexion .
When the pelvis is tilted forward through sitting, poor exercise technique, etc. there is a higher likelihood that the hip flexors will be in a shortened position as they attach to the lower spine and inside of the pelvis.
Over time this can cause weakness and tightness and encourage lower back pain. Fixing this issue at home takes time, but can be done through a hip flexor stretch.
Kneeling on the ground with the front foot put far out in front of you lunge forward while keeping your trunk over your hips and head up. The stretch will occur in the front of the thigh and hip toward the medial part of the leg that you are kneeling on. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds breathing in and out then switch to the other leg.
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Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment: Why Choose Johns Hopkins
- Our orthopaedic spine specialists use high-precision diagnostic techniques that allow them to identify the location and degree of disc degeneration with high accuracy.
- Cervical, lumbar and thoracic degenerative disc disease, as well as bulging and herniated discs, are some of the disc-related conditions our specialists are experienced in treating.
- If you are a candidate for nonsurgical or minimally invasive spine treatment, our experts will try these approaches first before considering surgery for degenerative disc disease.
- Skilled in complex spine revision surgeries, our specialists also work with patients who had prior spine surgery that didnt resolve their pain.
- If degenerative disc disease leads to or worsens spinal stenosis, myelopathy or radiculopathy, our orthopaedic spine experts can help address these conditions as well.
Check If It’s A Slipped Disc
A slipped disc can cause:
- lower back pain
- numbness or tingling in your shoulders, back, arms, hands, legs or feet
- problems bending or straightening your back
- muscle weakness
- pain in the buttocks, hips or legs if the disc is pressing on the sciatic nerve
Not all slipped discs cause symptoms. Many people will never know they have slipped a disc.
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Why Might I Need A Lumbar Disk Replacement
The main reason you would need a lumbar disk replacement is to treat low back pain. Still, not everyone with low back pain is a good candidate for a lumbar disk replacement surgery. Your doctor will need to do some tests to see if its the right procedure for you.
In general, lumbar disk replacement surgery might be recommended if:
Your back pain mostly comes from only 1 or 2 disks in your lower spine
You have no significant joint disease or compression on the nerves of your spine
You are not excessively overweight
You havent previously had spinal surgery
You dont have scoliosis or another spinal deformity
Secret #: Get Chiropractic Care
How to heal a bulging disc naturally? With chiropractic care, of course! One of the best ways to stop the pain and heal a bulging disc is to see your chiropractor. Not only can a chiropractor diagnose the root cause and find out if you have a herniated or bulging disc, but they can treat it as well.
After imaging, your chiropractor will set up a treatment plan that is designed for you and your exact needs. Since everyone is different, not everyone will be treated the same way.
More than likely, your chiropractor will perform a series of spinal adjustments, to realign the vertebrae and discs. This will prevent any further protrusion outside the spine. Then, depending on your needs, your chiropractor might also use other modalities including:
These are just a few of the things that your chiropractor can offer. You will get the quickest results, not to mention being out of pain much faster, by starting a treatment program with your chiropractor.
What can you do for herniated disc pain? See our most trusted local chiropractor sooner, rather than later!
We use the Alaska Back Pain Protocol method, which involves a three-step treatment plan that has proven itself to be successful for thousands of people with bulging or herniated discs!
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How Are Spinal Disc Problems Diagnosed
Diagnosis usually involves:
- examining you, especially checking the movements of your spine and legs to check your muscle strength, flexibility and reflexes
Depending on your symptoms, you might also need to have imaging scans, such as x-ray, CT or MRI scans. This is to rule out any potential rare causes, including spinal cancer, bone growths , fracture or narrowing of spinal canal .
However, most people with back pain feel better in a month. Scans can be expensive, may involve radiation and wont make you get better any faster, so talk to your doctor about whether you need them.
How Can I Avoid Getting A Herniated Disk
It’s not always possible to prevent a herniated disk. But you can reduce your risk by:
- Using proper lifting techniques. Dont bend at the waist. Bend your knees while keeping your back straight. Use your strong leg muscles to help support the load.
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Excess weight puts pressure on the lower back.
- Practicing good posture. Learn how to improve your posture when you walk, sit, stand and sleep. Good posture reduces strain on your spine.
- Stretching. Its especially important to take stretching breaks if you often sit for long periods.
- Avoiding wearing high-heeled shoes. This type of shoe throws your spine out of alignment.
- Exercising regularly. Focus on workouts that strengthen your back and abdomen muscles to support your spine.
- Stopping smoking. Smoking can weaken disks, making them vulnerable to rupture. Consider quitting smoking.
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