Dealing With A Herniated Disc
Are you suffering from back pain in Kingston, WA, but are unsure of what may have caused it? Well one thing is for certain, your not alone. The number of reported cases of back pain continues to rise each year. In fact the National Center for Health Statistics has determined that more than 13% of all hospital admissions are due to some variation of back pain. While a number of things may be responsible for the pain including; fractures, sprains, strains, and spinal stenosis, a herniated/bulging disc is by far one of the most common. Recent studies have shown that nearly 35% of the American population currently have herniated or bulging discs, many of them asymptomatic. Unfortunately, these people are unaware that their discs are acting like ticking time bombs, waiting for a time when they are overcome by stress, resulting in varying degrees of pain. Your doctors at Kitsap Pain Center in Kingston, WA understand how severe herniated and bulging discs may be and will use this article to provide you with information about this condition, as well as the most appropriate treatment options.
To understand what a herniated/bulging disc is, it is essential to have a basic understanding of their normal structure and function. A typically person has 23 intervertebral discs throughout their spine, each separating the neighboring vertebrae or back bones. An intervertebral disc has two primary components; the annulus (a group of circular fibers) and a nucleus found within the center of the annulus. While it may seem too simplistic, relating a disc to a jelly donut provides a good visualization of its structure. To picture this, imagine the nucleus as the jelly in the center of the donut or annulus. While the design may be simple, it has allowed intervertebral discs to become one of the most amazing structures found within the human body. Imagine the amount of stress that a single disc experiences in a lifetime, acting as a shock absorber with every single step and motion. Not only do these discs act as the only shock absorbers throughout our spine, they are also responsible for protecting the surrounding nerves and muscles.
What is a Herniation or a Bulging Disc?
We have patients ask us all the time, …..doc…. Did I herniate a disc? That's not an easy question to answer without a MRI. Usually when a patient present with lower back pain and associated leg pain, we always need to rule out disc involvement. First we need to answer, how does a disc herniate? The most common place for a disc to herniate, is L5-S1, his is where the lower back articulates with you tailbone. When patients have had lower back injuries for years either from falls or repetitive stress they have a tendency to put pressure on this area. Over time with multiple injuries and stressors, the pressure and wear and tear builds up in this area and you start to form bone spurs, rough bony edges and the disc space gets smaller, this results in DDD, degenerative disc disease. Once the disc space gets smaller, there is less room for your discs to breath and in return they push out of their normal space, which is known as a disc herniation. It all depends on how far it herniates out, does it touch a nerve? Does it put pressure on the spinal cord? Does it irritate surrounding soft tissue structures? These questions are usually answered by an MRI. A comprehensive exam and a set of lower back X-rays does help direct a doctor in to the right direction, but to get a clear snapshot of what's going on…. MRI is the best way to go.
The next time you injure or strain your back, call Kingston Crossing Wellness for a free consult and determine if you may benefit from Decompression therapy
How to Fix a Herniated or Bulging Disc?
While there are many treatments available, starting with the least invasive and most conservative approach is always the best idea. Thankfully, when treating herniated or bulged discs, the most conservative approach has been found to be the most effective. After determining the diagnosis of a disc problem, your doctor will confirm their suspicions through the use of MRI or X-ray imaging. Once a disc pathology has been confirmed, your doctors will determine the most appropriate treatment avenue. With subluxations (misalignments) of surrounding vertebrae being one of the most common causes of disc herniations, chiropractic adjustments have been found to be one of the most effective treatment choices especially when combined with Spinal Decompression therapy. Your doctor at Kitsap Pain Center will often combine spinal decompression therapy with your adjustment protocol to enhance the results and contribute to a faster recovery. In addition to increased effectiveness, spinal decompression therapy also minimizes the risk and cost that is often seen with many surgeries.
If you are suffering from back pain or want an evaluation and consultation to determine if you may be one of the 35% of Americans with asymptomatic disc bulges, contact Kitsap Pain Center in Kingston, WA today.
|Monday||10:00am - 5:30pm|
|Tuesday||8:30am - 12:00pm|
|Wednesday||10:00am - 5:30pm|
|Thursday||8:30am - 12:00pm|
|Friday||10:00am - 5:30pm|
8202 NE State Hwy 104 #105
Kingston, WA 98346