One of the undervalued components of healing is understanding. Many people facing disease and disability seek solutions and treatments without fully understanding their condition. The ability to understand and address all of the ways a condition causes pain and affects your quality of life comes with valuable benefits. Specifically, learning a condition’s cause and impact is an important part of the recovery process. When patients understand their condition, they also understand the reasoning behind the steps in their recovery process, and they’re more likely to follow their self-care program consistently.
Causes and Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
When a disc becomes herniated, there is a displaced fragment of the center part or nucleus of the disc being pushed through a tear in the outer layer of the disc. The pain accompanying a herniated disc results from irritating substances being released from the tear into surrounding tissues, as well as from the fragment touching or compressing a nearby nerve.
Causes of a Herniated Disc
There are multiple factors capable of increasing one’s risk of disc herniation. Individuals who smoke, do not exercise regularly, or have inadequate nutrition are more prone to poor disc health. Physical indicators include poor posture, daily wear and tear, injury or trauma, and incorrect lifting or twisting can further stress discs. Those with existing or old injuries are more prone to herniation. With some combination of these factors in place, a disc can herniate from a movement as simple as picking something small off of the ground or coughing.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
The most clear and common symptom is pain in the area where the herniation exists. If the herniation touches or compresses nearby nerves, pain or numbness can radiate down one’s extremities. When the herniation is located in the neck, shoulders and arms are most likely to be affected. If a herniation is located in the low-back, typically the hips and legs are affected. In severe cases, an affected extremity can become weak, bowel or bladder habits can change, and sexual function can suffer. Experiencing any of these severe symptoms is grounds for a medical emergency.
Sciatica and Herniated Discs
One of the nerves commonly affected by a herniated lumbar disc is the sciatic nerve. This nerve is the longest in the human body; it runs from the pelvis, through the hip area and buttocks, and down each leg. As it travels down the leg, smaller nerves branch out from the sciatic nerve. This nerve is responsible for providing feeling to your thighs, legs, and feet, while controlling many of the muscles in your lower legs. If the sciatic nerve is compressed by a herniated lumbar disc, pain will radiate along the nerves path.
Experiencing a radiating pain from your lower spine, to your buttock, and down the back of your leg is a key indicator of sciatica. Other symptoms may include numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the leg. The pain can by quick and intense, or it could appear gradually.
The DMR Method and Herniated Disc Reabsorption
The pain and discomfort associated with a herniated disc and/or with sciatica can be debilitating and can easily interfere with one’s activities of daily life. But, to those experiencing this pain and discomfort, know this – there is an alternative to surgery. The DMR Method is advanced non-surgical care for neck and back pain, and it’s been clinically proven to resolve herniated discs. By applying the proper therapeutic techniques in the right order and at the right time, the human body can have remarkable healing capacity.