Living with a herniated disc is no laughing matter. The pain can be so intense it may be impossible to function throughout the day. Just turning your neck in a certain position can cause shooting pain throughout the body, making it difficult to do normal tasks like household chores and driving.
When the disc gets herniated or ruptured, the annulus fibrosus, the rubber-like circular band breaks open, causing the nucleus pulposus, the jelly-like material inside, to leak out. If you have herniated or ruptured a disc in your cervical spinal area, this can be even more difficult to live with. Your range of motion can be dramatically limited, causing you to experience dull and sharp pain in your neck, shoulder blades, arm and fingers if you turn in a way that exacerbates the injury. You may also feel numbness and tingling, which can cause discomfort in its own way.
Most young people with bad posture are susceptible to herniating a disc. If you smoke, do not exercise and eat a lot of processed foods you are also more prone to rupturing a disc. However, old age is also factor, even if you have been an active, non-smoker, healthy eater your whole life. As you get older the discs begin to dry out, causing them to weaken and deteriorate.
People who are suffering from a cervical herniated disc, run the risk usually have spinal cord compression as well. This is when substance from the herniated disk puts unwanted pressure on the spinal cord causing pain. If your spinal cord is compressed, then your injury has progressed to the point of needing immediate medical treatment, since it can cause you to have trouble with your motor skills, cause difficulty walking and increased shocking pain in the torso and legs.
Most treatment programs involve medications such as anti-inflammatory medicines, muscle relaxants and pain killers. It is also recommended to implement a cold and heat therapy. Adding cold to the injured area can reduce the swelling, while heat will help relax the muscle and increase the blood flow to the injury. In some extreme cases, surgery may be considered. This usually consists of the disc being removed from the upper spinal area.
However, for those looking for a drug-free, safer option, chiropractic treatments may be able to help. With spinal manipulations done to the cervical area, pressure may be able to be released from the subluxations, or dysfunctional vertebrae, giving the patient relief from the pain. Chiropractic may also be sought after since it is an all natural treatment that is generally risk-free for all demographics.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.