You can have herniated discs without any signs or symptoms. Diagnosis for a herniated disc is typically found and best seen on an MRI; however, disc herniations can be very painful and often have symptoms of radiating pain into the arms or legs. Radiating pains are often described as electric shock-like pains. Numbness or tingling is often associated with herniated discs when pressure or compression is great enough on the affected nerves. In some cases, weakness in the muscles may occur if prolonged compression or irritation to the affected nerve or nerve root occurs. This may cause you to stumble or impair your ability to lift or hold items.
Disc herniations are often a cause of gradual, age-related wear and tear, which is commonly referred to as disc degeneration. The tough outer layers of the disc (annulus fibrosis) begin to tear or degenerate allowing the soft jelly-like substance of the inner disc (nucleus pulposus) to flow out into the lateral recess of the vertebral column. When enough substance of the nucleus pulposus herniates, symptoms often occur. Disc herniations may also occur as a result of trauma, lifting heavy objects, or simple bending and twisting.
Bending forward to lift heavy objects is one of the most common ways to cause a disc herniation. Avoid bending with your torso by bending your knees and lifting with the power in your thighs and buttocks. If you think you have a herniated disc, visit us at Cotton Chiropractic as we use very effective and specific orthopedic tests to evaluate and determine the presence of a disc herniation. Regular chiropractic adjustments are very effective in preventing disc herniations and helping in the resorption of current disc herniations. We highly recommend conservative treatment before surgery for herniated discs.