A herniated disc occurs when the outer layer of a spinal disc is damaged allowing the internal gel to bulge or leak out. This herniation puts pressure on the nerve that runs through the spine and causes serious discomfort. Herniated discs are most commonly found in the lower back but can occur anywhere in the spine. In addition to lower back pain, herniated discs can also cause painful sensations in the legs or arms, numbness or tingling, and weakness in the muscles. Some herniated discs can show no signs only to show up in a scan of the spine later on.
Herniated discs are most often caused by general wear and tear that causes gradual degeneration of the disc. As this happens, the disc loses water or fluid, making them less flexible and prone to damage. Herniated discs can also be caused by using the poor technique while lifting heavy objects. Other factors that can affect a person’s risk of developing this condition include being overweight or an inherited genetic disorder. In some cases, the exact cause of the herniation is impossible to diagnose.
The experts at In Touch NYC Physical Therapy offer a wide variety of treatments to relieve the pain of a herniated disc. With a combination of passive and active treatments, patients will first relax that body, then build strength to prevent future pain or injury. Some of the passive treatments include the following. Deep tissue massage relieves tension and spasm from deep within the muscles, which can often develop with a herniated disc to prevent muscle movement in the affected area. Hot and cold therapy are used to relax the muscles and reduce inflammation. Some of the active treatments for herniated discs include core stability to increase the strength of the muscles which support the spine. The physical therapist may also work with the client to increase flexibility and overall muscle strength to further protect the body from future injuries.