Slipped Disk Treatment in Wilmington, NC
Slipped disks occur when the soft interior of a spinal disk (a cushion between vertebrae) punctures the tough membrane surrounding it. This can irritate nerves and lead to pain and numbness - most commonly in the lower back.
Back pain is one of the most common conditions in the world. While back pain does not always consititute a medical emergency, early treatment can help prevent the injury from becoming worse. If you are experiencing symptoms of back pain or a slipped disk, seek medical attention to begin treatment.
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About slipped disk
The back has 24 spinal disks, which are spongy cushions that separate the individual vertebrae in the spinal cord and up through the neck. Each of these disks has a soft, jellylike center (nucleus) with a tough and rubbery exterior (annulus). A herniated - or slipped - disk occurs when the soft nucleus of the spinal disk pushes through a rupture in the annulus. This exposed section of a spinal disk may irritate nerves surrounding it, resulting in painful symptoms. Slipped disks most commonly occur in the lower back (lumbar spine) or in the neck.
Common symptoms of a herniated - or slipped - disk include:
- Pain in the legs: Usually caused by a slipped disk in the lower back, you may experience sharp pain in the buttocks, thigh, or calf.
- Pain in the arms: Usually caused by a slipped disk in the neck, you may experience sharp pain in the shoulder and arm.
- Numbness: Because herniated disks irritate surrounding nerves, you may experience numbness or tingling in various areas of your body.
Slipped disks may be caused by several factors such as:
- Occupation: Individuals who work in physically demanding jobs that require heavy lifting, frequent twisting, pushing, and pulling are more at risk of back injury such as a slipped disk.
- Weight: Excess body weight can put added stress on the disks in the back. This may increase the risk of slipped disks.
- Smoking: Smoking can impair oxygen supplies to the disks in the spine, which may cause a rupture in the annulus.
- Aging: As you age, the disks in your back become more brittle and rigid. This may increase the likelihood of a rupture and a slipped disk.
Slipped disks are rarely considered a medical emergency. However, if left untreated, they can cause severe pain and a decreased quality of life. Back pain is a persistent and widespread condition that affects millions of people around the world. According to the American Chiropractic Association, roughly 31 million Americans experience back pain on any given day. The ACA also states that back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world, and one of the most common reasons for missed work. If you are experiencing symptoms of back pain or a slipped disk, seek medical attention to begin treatment.
Below is a list of common treatment options for a slipped disk. During your appointment, discuss these with your doctor to determine the right treatment plan for you.