A herniated disc is the result of two vertebrae moving out of their natural position and hinging together. As the one side of the two vertebrae comes closer together, it forces the small gel-like disc to bulge or herniate towards the opposite side. As the disc begins to bulge outside the protective ring of the vertebrae, it may begin to leak fluid or rupture. If the disc ruptures, it can lead to a misalignment in the spinal column that often results in severe pain and discomfort. Herniated discs can be caused by a hard blow to the back, a slip and fall accident, or the use of an improper lifting technique. Twisting or trying to stretch to reach an object can also cause the vertebrae of the spine to move or shift.
Individuals who are prone to back problems caused by chronic health conditions may not be able to prevent a herniated disc. Osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, degenerative bone disease, and other chronic health issues may weaken the structure of the spine making it easy for discs to become herniated. Individuals who are in otherwise normal health may be able to avoid this type of injury by learning proper lifting techniques, using a weight belt, and asking for assistance if the object they are moving is heavy or awkward to lift. Herniated discs can also be prevented by avoiding spills or uneven terrain that would cause a slip and fall accident.
Herniated discs can be extremely painful. With chiropractic care, adjustments to the spine that relieve the pressure on the disc can help to lessen a person's discomfort. Therapeutic massage and rehabilitation exercises can also be used to help strengthen and tone the muscles that support the spine. Supporting the spine when the vertebrae are in their original places will keep the pressure off of the disc and allow the tissues surrounding the area to heal. Physiotherapy and chiropractic care work together to make sure the muscles are in their proper positions so that healing can begin. Be gently separating and maneuvering the vertebrae, the disc is allowed to return to its normal position.
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