The bones forming the spine are cushioned by disks. The disks are found between each of the vertebrae and they function as shock absorbers. They are made of a jellylike, soft nucleus encased in a rubber-like, tougher exterior, also known as the annulus. A herniated disk is a problem that results when the nucleus pushes out through a torn annulus. This issue can happen in any part of the spine, and depending on where it occurs, it can irritate the nearby nerves and even cause numbness, weakness, or pain in a leg and an arm. Some people may not experience any symptoms at all. Below are some important facts that you should know about herniated disks. If you’re in the area, consider treatment for a herniated disk in Ramsey, NJ.
Symptoms of Herniated Disks
In most cases, a herniated disk occurs in the lower section of the spine, but it may also occur in the neck region. The symptoms of a herniated disk usually depend on the position of the affected disk, and whether a nerve is being pressed. In most cases, the symptoms affect one side of the body. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Pain in the leg, thigh, and buttocks if the herniated disk in the lower back
- Arm and shoulder pain if the herniated disk is in the neck region
- The weakening of the muscles served by the affected nerve
- Numbness and tingling
Causes of a Herniated Disk
Disk herniation usually results from age-related, gradual wear and tear commonly known as disk degeneration. As people age, their disks get less flexible and become more likely to tear and rupture. However, not all people suffer from herniated disks as they age. Some of the risk factors that are associated with herniated disks include:
- Being overweight
- Woking physically demanding jobs
- Being a smoker
- Having close relatives with a history of herniated disks
Prevention and Treatment
There are several things that you can do to prevent a herniated disk. For instance, you should learn to maintain good posture and exercise regularly. You should also strive to maintain a healthy weight and avoid smoking.
There are several ways in which herniated disks can be treated. For instance, once you have been diagnosed with a herniated disk, you may have to modify your day-to-day activities to avoid the movements that trigger the pain. The issue can also be treated with over-the-counter pain medication, cortisone injections, muscle relaxants, or even opioids. In severe cases, treating herniated disks may call for a surgical procedure.
The Bottom Line
Overall, it is apparent that a herniated disk is an issue that can cause significant discomfort in the legs and arms. The good news is that this is an issue that can be treated in a number of ways. Therefore, if you have symptoms of a herniated disk, you should seek the assistance of a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. If you are looking for a reliable sports medicine physician to help you with diagnosing and treating herniated disks, Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine is an excellent medical facility to consider. Feel free to visit or contact them today for more information about their practitioners and the services that they offer.