Herniated disc: what it is, what symptoms and how to treat

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The problem is marked by pain in regions such as the lumbar and the neck.  Know how to protect yourself from a herniated disc.

The spine has intervertebral discs – they serve as shock absorbers that prevent direct and painful contact between the vertebrae.  And the hernia is nothing more than the result of the displacement of one of these discs.

When one of them leaves the axis, it compresses nerves of the region, causing pains, loss of sensation or sensation of tingling.  Usually, the disorder gives the faces in the lower back – in this case, the discomfort radiates to the legs and feet.  Another focus of hernias is the neck.  If it is hit, the entire cervical region suffers.

Symptoms can start suddenly and last for a short time or manifest in long bouts that never seem to end.  If left untreated, the hernia will injure the injured nerves.  Result: more complaints and a great difficulty to get around the picture.

This annoyance is mainly related to getting older – over time, the discs will be overloaded until they can not take it anymore – but too intense physical exertion and back trauma also put the spine at risk.

Signals and symptoms of herniated disc

Herniated disc
Herniated disc

– Pain in the lumbar and sciatic nerve

Weakness in the legs

– Pain when you cough, laugh and go to the bathroom

– Tingling, pain and numbness in the legs and feet

Difficulty urinating and evacuating

– Pain in the arms and hands (if the hernia appears in the neck)

Risk factors

– Trauma and accidents

– Be over 35 years old

– Being seated for a long time

– Family history

– Repetitive movements that require the use of back muscles

How to prevent

The best strategy to prevent a herniated disc is to practice physical activity.  The excess of sitting hours and the sagging of the trunk muscles caused by inactivity are closely linked to the wear of the discs of the spine.  Other than that, they need frequent movement to stay firm and lubricated.  Just do not get too heavy.  Your spine will complain if it is subjected to very high overloads or poorly executed gestures.

Paying attention to posture also helps preserve the back.  Some people recommend postural exercises or even RPGs to straighten the spine.  But before you go for such tactics, it is worth consulting a professional.

The diagnosis

The doctor first listens to the patient’s complaints and performs physical tests to find out the main sources of pain.  In addition, it can assess reflexes and tenderness in regions affected by disc herniation.

And that’s not all.  The specialist is still looking for other symptoms that indicate a possible worsening of the condition, such as urinary incontinence and muscle weakness in the anus region.

In specific scenarios, magnetic resonance imaging, computed axial tomography, and other imaging tests are used to pinpoint the root of the problem and the size of the damage.

The treatment

In most cases, it can relieve the discomfort with changes of posture and physical exercises.  All, of course, with professional guidance – even because during a crisis, rest is needed.

For pain, it is usually prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and analgesic.  Physiotherapy sessions help a lot.  However, if the picture is not controlled, the surgeon comes on the scene.  In short, he makes a small incision and removes the hernia.

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