Disc herniation or rupture is a common condition that can cause severe pain and discomfort in the back, legs, or arms. However, many individuals may not know they have a disc herniation until it progresses to a more severe stage. Disc herniations are particularly common in demographics that do a significant amount of sitting down during the day or gym goers that do many compressive exercises like deadlifts and squats. In this blog post, I’ll be outlining some general advice for herniated disc treatment in managing disc herniations in the long run and tips for avoiding them in the first place.
Methodology and Physiology of herniated disc treatment
Disc herniation occurs when the soft, gel-like material (the nucleus pulposus) inside the intervertebral disc protrudes through a tear in the outer fibrous ring(the annulus fibrosis). This can occur due to a traumatic injury, repetitive stress, or degeneration. In some cases, the herniation may not cause pain, and individuals may not even be aware that they have a disc herniation until it progresses to a more severe stage.
In addition, individuals with non-painful disc herniation can benefit from core strengthening exercises as part of their long-term management plan. These exercises can help to support the spine and prevent further injury.
Statistics of Disc herniation
Studies have shown that disc herniation is by far the most common in the lumbar spine (lower back) and less commonly in the cervical spine (neck) and thoracic spine (mid back).
The statistics vary depending on population and the diagnostic criteria used, but roughly 95% of the disc herniations occur in the lumbar spine, with 4% and 1% affecting the cervical and thoracic, respectively.
Disc herniation can occur in individuals of any age or demographic, but factors such as lifestyle, occupation, and overall health play crucial roles in preventing and managing this condition wherever it occurs in the spine.
The statistics also show that disc herniation is more commonly seen in adults between 30 and 50, with males having a slightly higher incidence rate than females.
Individuals who engage in activities that involve repetitive bending, twisting, or heavy lifting are specifically at increased risk for developing disc herniation.
Additionally, risk factors such as obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and genetics all contribute to the risk of developing disc herniation.
Core strength importance
Core strength is essential in both preventing and managing disc herniation. The core muscles, including the abdominal and back muscles, provide support and stability to the spine. When these muscles are weak, the spine is less stable and more prone to injury. Strengthening the core muscles can help to prevent disc herniation by improving the overall stability of the spine.
Additional beneficial long-term techniques
Non-weight-bearing exercises such as swimming can benefit individuals with disc herniation. These exercises reduce the load on the spine and can help to improve mobility and flexibility. Swimming is also an excellent way to strengthen the core muscles without placing undue stress on the spine.
Nerve flossing is a technique used to help improve the mobility of the nerves that run through the body. This technique can be beneficial for individuals with disc herniation because it can help to alleviate and prevent any nerve compression that may be causing or could cause pain or discomfort. Nerve flossing involves gentle movements that help mobilize the nerves and reduce tension or irritation.
Prevention and long-term management of non-painful disc herniation are essential for maintaining spinal health and preventing further injury. Core strengthening exercises, non-weight bearing exercises such as swimming, and nerve flossing can all benefit individuals with disc herniation. Suppose you are experiencing disc herniation symptoms or have any concerns about your spinal health. In that case, it is essential to speak with a chiropractor or healthcare provider for advice and guidance on the appropriate course of treatment.