ARE HERNIATED DISKS COMMON?
- Can be very painful.
- Within a few weeks, most cases of painful disc herniation heal.
- In many instances, the herniation of the disc does not cause that patient any pain.
- Herniated discs are often seen on MRI of asymptomatic patients (MRI is the imaging modality of choice).
- The management of disc herniation requires an interprofessional team. The initial treatment should be conservative, unless a patient has severe neurological compromise.
- Surgery is usually the last resort as it does not always result in predictable results.
- Physical therapy is the key for most patients. The outcomes depend on many factors but those who participate in regular exercise and maintain a healthy body weight have better outcomes than people who are sedentary
WHO GETS HERNIATED DISKS?
- Sitting for long periods in the same position.
- Being overweight.
- Lifting heavy objects.
- Repetitive bending or twisting motions for work, sports or hobbies.
HERNIATED OR SLIPPED DISK IN THE BACK (HERNIATED LUMBAR DISK)
- Back pain.
- Tingling or numbness in the legs and/or feet.
- Muscle weakness.
HERNIATED OR DISK IN THE NECK (HERNIATED CERVICAL DISK)
- Pain near or between your shoulder blades.
- Pain that travels to your shoulder, arm and sometimes your hand and fingers.
- Neck pain, especially in the back and on the sides of your neck.
- Pain that increases when bending or turning your neck.
- Numbness or tingling in your arms.
- Worsening symptoms. Pain, numbness or weakness can increase to the point that they hamper your daily activities.
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction. Cauda equina syndrome can cause incontinence or difficulty urinating even with a full bladder.
- Saddle anaesthesia. This progressive loss of sensation affects the areas that would touch a saddle — the inner thighs, back of the legs and the area around the rectum
- Using proper lifting techniques. Don’t bend at the waist. Bend your knees while keeping your back straight. Use your strong leg muscles to help support the load.
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Excess weight puts pressure on the lower back.
- Practicing good posture. Learn how to improve your posture when you walk, sit, stand and sleep. Good posture reduces strain on your spine.
- Stretching. It’s especially important to take stretching breaks if you often sit for long periods.
- Avoiding wearing high-heeled shoes. This type of shoe throws your spine out of alignment.
- Exercising regularly. Focus on workouts that strengthen your back and abdomen muscles to support your spine.