A older man is hunched over holding his back due to a injured herniated disc

Herniated Disc Injuries

While being fairly common, herniated disc or slipped disc injuries can be very uncomfortable for people. Although the majority of these injuries tend to be not very serious, they can result in surgery procedures. Therefore, knowing how to spot the symptoms along with the right treatment and exercises can go a long way in preventing your injury from getting worse and getting you back to your best.

So what are the causes for these sorts of injuries? What symptoms should you look out for and how can you accelerate your recovery?

What Are Herniated Disc Injuries?

Herniated disc injuries happen when the inner portion of a spinal disc penetrates through the outer layer of the disc causing discomfort in individuals especially when it affects one of the nerves. 

These spinal discs, which protect the bones in our vertebrae, have two different parts: 

  • A soft gelatinous portion in the inside of the disc
  • A tougher outer layer of the disc

These discs are the parts of the vertebrae that protect our bones from shocks when doing everyday activities such as walking, running, jumping, lifting, and twisting.

Symptoms

While symptoms can vary based on the individual these are the most common symptoms to look out for:

  • Pain and numbness, primarily on just one side of the body
  • Shooting pains that move into your legs or up your arms
  • Worsening of pain after certain movements
  • Pain after standing or sitting
  • Pain after walking or running
  • Unexplained muscle weakness
  • Tingling, aching, or burning sensations in the affected area

Main Causes

Herniated disc injuries can be attributed to age. As you get older the outer protective layer of the disc loses some of its effectiveness, making it easier for the inner layer to push through. Other causes can be due to lifting heavy objects, if individuals tend to lift objects using their back instead of legs, this can cause such injuries. Weight can also become a factor as the bones in the vertebrae have to support the additional weight.

Herniated Disc Recovery

While the pain and discomfort from suffering a herniated disc injury can temp individuals to rest, this is something that is not recommended. Not being active can lead to joint stiffness and worsen your muscle weakness. Therefore it is important to be as active as you can by doing exercises such as brisk walks and performing light exercises that improve your back and muscles. Stretching the affected area can also ease the discomfort along with over-the counter pain relievers. Pain tends to disappear for most patients after six weeks.

Recover at South Coast Post Acute

At South Coast Post Acute, our expert staff provides exceptional care to each and every one of our patients, providing an outstanding rehabilitation experience. Contact us today and learn why we’re the rehabilitation center of choice in Southern California.

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