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What is a Herniated Disc in The Lower Back?

What is a Herniated Disc in the Lower Back?

Herniated Disc, Hamilton, New Zealand

Back pain is arguably the most common type of pain felt by people around the world. However, a herniated disc is more than just sore muscles. It is a condition that will need proper treatment for the person to effectively recover.

The Causes of a Herniated Disc

There are essentially two causes of a herniated disc: injury and the natural aging process. As children and young adults, the discs contain a considerable amount of water that slowly dries out over time. This is most apparent in the elderly where the separation gaps in their spine have narrowed considerably. This condition creates a vulnerability to getting a herniated disc from injury. However, it should be pointed out that a herniated disc can happen to anyone of any age.

The normal wear and tear that comes with aging makes a person more vulnerable to have a herniated disc, but men between the ages of 30 to 50 have are the mostly likely to actually herniated the disc in their lower back. This can occur for several reasons, including the following;

-        Lifting improperly

-        Obesity

-        Repetitive actions

-        Sedentary lifestyle

-        Frequent driving

-        Smoking

Most people who experience a herniated disc often have more than a single risk factor. Recurrent disc herniation is also possible in certain individuals.

The Symptoms of a Herniated Disc:

The symptoms will generally occur in the lower back between the L4-L5 and the L5-S1 regions of the back itself.

The initial symptom of a herniated disc is pain in the lower back. Over the next few days the pain will seemingly improve, but it will be followed by the onset of numbness, pain in the leg or feelings of weakness. The leg pain will typically appear in the foot or ankle area and will often move up and down the leg itself.

It must be noted that it can be difficult to diagnose the pain is coming from the degeneration of the disc in the back. In very rare cases there will be a loss of bowel or bladder control which might indicate a more serious issue known as cauda equine syndrome. Immediate medical attention is needed if cauda equine syndrome is present because it compresses the roots of the spinal nerve.

Nonsurgical and surgical treatments for Herniated Disc:

There are both nonsurgical and surgical treatments for a herniated disc of which the nonsurgical type is most recommended. The initial treatment usually focuses on relieving the pain in the back and eventually the leg as it spreads downward due to the pressure placed on the nerves.

-       Resting: Usually for 1 to 2 days or more.

-       Physical therapy: Exercises to strengthen the lower back muscles is an important part of the treatment.

-       Acupuncture: acupuncture is a very effective treatment for back pain, it may give you long term relief or short term relief, depending on how experienced your acupuncturist is.

-       Anti-inflammatory and pain killer medications: There are specific medicines to reduce the swelling; this can provide short-term relief for a herniated disc.

-       Epidural steroid injection: Steroids are injected into the area of pain to reduce inflammation, it works very well in some cases.

Surgery is generally considered a last resort or if there was considerable damage done that cannot be naturally repaired. I would recommend that you try non-surgical treatments first.  I have seen a lot of patients who continue to suffer from back pain after having surgery.

Proper prevention includes leading an active lifestyle that includes regular exercise to strengthen the muscles in the back and proper lifting techniques to prevent a herniated disc from occurring. 


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We practice Master Chen Li Xin Acupuncture, Dr Tan’s Balance Method Acupuncture and Unique Acupressure Points. These techniques are very powerful and great for herniated disc/pinched nerce slipped disc/bulging disc/prolapsed disc. We give a 100% guarantee on this or you will receive your money back. If you suffer from back pain, Call 07 855 7115 to book yourself a FREE pre-assessment appointment NOW



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