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Herniated Disc

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A herniated disc in most cases is the culprit that causes lower back pain and is often referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons sixty to eighty percent of people will have back pain at some point in their life and a high percentage of lower back/leg pain is caused by a herniated disc.

Causes

  • Aging/Wear and tear
  • Sedentary Lifestyle – Consistent exercise is critical as it helps to prevent several medical conditions from developing.
  • Gender – Men between 30 and 50 are more susceptible to herniated discs.
  • Repetitive actions – Constant lifting, pulling, bending, or twisting can cause a herniated disc.  It’s important to use safe lifting and movement techniques to protect your back.
  • Weight – When a body is overweight it causes extra stress on the discs in the lower back.
  • Smoking – Smoking is believed to lessen oxygen supply to the disc and causes more rapid degeneration.

Symptoms

  • Back Pain
  • Deep Muscle Pain
  • Spasms
  • Tingling or numbness in the leg or foot
  • Weakness in the legs and loss of bladder or bowel control (extremely rare) might indicate a more serious problem known as cauda equine syndrome, which develops when spinal nerve roots are being compressed.  Immediate medical attention is required.

Treatment

There are several non-surgical solutions available to improve symptoms of a herniated disc.

  • Rest – If you are experiencing severe back pain, 1-2 days of rest will calm the pain.  Don’t stay off your feet any longer than your initial rest period.  Take several breaks throughout the day and avoid sitting for long periods of time.  Use controlled and slow movements and change your daily activities to avoid further pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications – Ibuprofen or naproxen may temporarily relieve back pain.
  • Physical Therapy – Trained specialists with experience in specific exercises can strengthen your muscles.
  • Epidural steroid injection – Steroids are injected into your back to minimize inflammation.

Whether you suffer from wear-and-tear or a spinal injury, Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center offers the best care available for a wide variety of spine/neck related ailments.   Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center’s physicians have extensive experience treating nearly every kind of condition, including spinal trauma of the neck and back, tumors and infections, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and adult degenerative conditions of the next and back.

To schedule an appointment with our spine specialists please call 540.347.9220 (Warrenton office) or 703.743.2814 (Gainesville office) and don’t forget to visit us @ www.broava.com for all comprehensive services offered by Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center.

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