It’s never easy dealing with a herniated disc. A herniated disk, which can occur in any part of the spine, can irritate nearby nerves, resulting in pain, numbness, and even weakness in an arm or leg. But, you don’t have to live with this uncomfortable condition.
At South Coast Post Acute, it is our mission to provide a high level of care to each of our patients. Our expert staff is here to guide you every step of the way in your recovery to ensure you have the best chance of rehabilitation. Read our article below and learn how we can help you recover from a herniated disk.
What is a Herniated Disk?
A herniated disk occurs when there is a problem with one of the rubbery cushions that sit between the individual bones that stack to make your spine. Your spine has many levels of discs that have a jellylike center which is encased in a rubbery exterior. A ruptured disk will occur when the jellylike center pushes out through the exterior, creating a tear and irritating your nerves.
Signs That You Have a Herniated Disk
The most obvious sign that you have a ruptured disk is if there is pain on any part of your spine, namely your lower back. The pain may spread from your back to your butt, thighs, and calves. Discomfort usually gets worse when you’re active and lessens when you’re at rest. Simple things can cause pain to your disc, like coughing, sneezing, and sitting. Your symptoms can worsen by putting pressure on your pinched nerves.
The best way to tell if you are experiencing a herniated disc is to visit your doctor. They’ll likely perform a physical exam to find the source of your pain by checking your back for sore or painful spots. They’ll also likely ask you to move certain parts of your body in different ways to see if you feel pain. Additionally, they may check:
- Your reflexes
- Leg strength
- How you’re walking
- Whether you can feel light touches or vibrations
Incorporate Exercise into Your Recovery
Your doctor may tell you that exercising can help treat your herniated disk. As mentioned, any part of the spine can become herniated. By incorporating different exercises into your routine you can begin to feel relief from your pain.
Gentle activities and exercises helps strengthen the muscles that support your spine and reduce the pressure on your spinal column. Additionally, they promote flexibility in your spine and may help reduce the risk of rupturing another disk. Your doctor may suggest starting small and building up as your pain begins to shrink. They may suggest activities such as yoga, swimming, walking, and cycling, to get you started.
But, it’s most important to do your stretches. Here are some simple stretches you can do at home:
- Neck stretches
- Seated chair stretches
- Towel hamstring stretches
- Back flexion stretches
- Knee to chest stretches
- Piriformis muscle stretches
It’s also important to refrain from certain exercises. Stay away from any activities involving heavy lifting, sudden pressure on the back or repetitive strenuous movement as these will likely do more harm than good. It’s also wise to stay away from high-impact activities like martial arts and jogging.
South Coast Post Acute is Your Source for Quality Rehabilitation
South Coast Post Acute is a 5-star rated Medicare facility and private healthcare community in Southern California. For over 40 years, we’ve provided first-in-class service that emphasizes a high level of compassion and spirit. When you enroll in our facility you aren’t just treated as a patient, you’re treated like family. With a wide range of health services, our team of professionals is capable of helping you. Contact us today and learn how South Coast Post Acute’s staff can help you return to a normal life.