A herniated disc is a problem that plagues many people at some point in their life. That fact may prompt the question “what is a herniated disc?”
A Herniated Disc
The spinal column is made up of alternating tough bones and softer, more flexible discs. The discs are meant to act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae. They also make moving and bending possible. Without these discs your spinal column would be one long, inflexible piece of bone that would make things like turning in your chair or bending down to tie your shoes virtually impossible.
When one of these vital discs becomes damaged or dislocated, it’s defined as a herniated disc.
How it Happens
A herniated disc is most often caused by the aging process. The discs are much like the cushions in your couch. After years of sitting on them, they become flattened and often don’t fit in their positions as well as they once did. As time passes, the same thing happens to your spinal column. The human body wasn’t built to last forever, and the discs in your spine will wear out over time.
Degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis – which creates bone spurs in the spine, and Degenerative Disc Disease – which dries the discs in the spine out, making them much more likely to break and become displaced can certainly speed the process of aging.
Other things that can result in a herniated disc are high impact sports, like football and gymnastics. Even a car accident or a fall from a great height can cause the discs in your back to get pushed out of place.
How Do You Know if You Have a Herniated Disc?
Symptoms of a herniated disc tend to be pain in the area, and possibly tingling or numbness in your extremities, due to a pinched nerve near the dislocated disc. Your doctor can perform tests, examinations and x-rays to determine if your symptoms match a herniated disc.
What Can You Do if You Have a Herniated Disc?
There are a lot of options for treating a herniated disc. Lying around isn’t one of them. Although a back injury can be hard to deal with, and it may be difficult to remain active, you can’t lie around for too long or you’ll aggravate the injury even further. Stiff muscles can cause additional pain and slow the healing process. So do what you can to get moving. Even light exercise like walking can help your body heal while making your back stronger to prevent future injuries.
Inversion therapy has also been increasingly successful at relieving a herniated disc. In fact, 70% of patients who tried the new technique were able to cancel their herniated disc surgeries. It works by inverting your whole body, which allows gravity to realign your spinal column and reduce pressure on the damaged disc. If you would like to try this technique in your home, visit losethebackpain.com and browse The Healthy Back Institute’s selection of home inversion therapy tables.
The Healthy Back Institute provides the latest information, techniques and technology for herniated discs. So, if you’re still wondering “what is a herniated disc,” head over to losethebackpain.com and take advantage of the many resources offered by The Healthy Back Institute.
Written By: Updated: July 20,2011