What is a herniated disc?
In between the vertebra in our back, we have small, circular discs to keep the spine flexible and cushion the individual vertebra. A herniated disc occurs when one of these discs between the vertebrae in your spine slips out of place (hence “slipped disc), often due to trauma. A herniated disc can occur at any point along your spine, but most often occurs in the lower back. Symptoms include:
- Lower back pain with occasional shooting pain down the back of the legs (sciatica)
- Tingling or numbness
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty sitting or standing.
What causes a herniated disc?
As a result of injury to the back, the hard outer layer of the disc may tear or crack. The inner layer of the disc may then bulge out of the cracks in the disc. Herniated discs are more likely to occur as you age. As we get older, the discs dry out and become less flexible. Your risk of suffering from a herniated disc also increases with your body weight.
How is a herniated disc diagnosed?
The doctors at Sall Myers may simply ask questions about your accident and injury, followed by a physical exam. If your symptoms clearly indicate that you’re suffering from a herniated disc, no further tests may be necessary. However, you may be sent for an MRI or other diagnostic imaging to confirm the diagnosis.
How do you treat a herniated disc?
Herniated disc treatment usually involves a combination of pain management and physical therapy, although occasionally surgery is necessary. Read more about the treatment options Sall Myers provides for herniated disc patients. (link)
What is the recovery time for a herniated disc?
Your recovery time depends on a number of factors, including your age, the severity of your injury, and your general health. Most herniated disc patients recover completely within six months.
Can I prevent future back injuries?
After your first serious back injury, you’re much more likely to reinjure yourself in the future. To keep your back in good shape:
- Practice good posture, especially when sitting for long periods or lifting heavy objects
- Quit smoking – it sounds strange, but smoking can increase your risk of a herniated disc
- Maintain a healthy body weight and exercise regularly
If you’ve been in a car accident in New Jersey and need treatment for a herniated disc, please call us at 866-609-4448 or fill out our quick contact form for FREE consultation.