You’ve probably heard of terms like “pinched nerve,” “bulging disc,” and/or “herniated disc.” These terms are typically used to identify and/or describe problems associated with spinal discs in the body. In order to diagnose the specific problem, a doctor will usually review the patient’s medical history, give them an exam, and run one or more diagnostic tests, if needed.
Did you know there are generally two types of disc problems? First is the pinched nerve, whereas material is leaking out of the inside of a disc and therefore irritating (or pinching) a nearby nerve. When this pain extends down the leg, people typically call it “sciatica.” Meanwhile, pain from a nerve root, in general, is typically referred to as a “herniated disc.” The other type of disc problem is when the actual disc has degenerated. When this happens, the disc itself is in pain, causing pain, and the source of pain. People with this problem have “degenerative disc disease.” In some cases, people experience both problems at the same time and back surgery may be needed. People have discs in various parts of their bodies, including the neck as well as the upper and lower spine (up and down the back). Because people torque their lower backs so much on a daily basis, that’s the area where they’re most likely going to experience disc issues such as a herniated disc.
When a doctor is testing to see if you have a herniated disc, he or she might tap areas on your arm or leg with a reflex hammer to see your reaction– if no reaction, that might indicate a compressed nerve root in the spine. The doctor might also look for muscle strength versus weakness. For example, is there muscle atrophy anywhere? What about muscle twitching or any abnormal movements? Finally, where is the pain concentrated? Does the person have a hard time straightening their leg? Is their lower back where all the pain is located?
Non-surgical treatments for herniated/bulging discs may include injections, medications, physical therapy and/or chiropractic care. Usually visiting a chiropractor is a person’s first choice for relief from herniated disc pain.
In Lakeland, FL, Dr. Barker at New City Chiropractic can help people with herniated discs. Please call 863-940-3444 to make an appointment.