A herniated disc is one of the top causes of lower back pain, and it’s also the most common cause of another very painful back problem: sciatica. At Tier Wellness Center, Adam Sandahl, DC, CCEP, has years of experience developing customized chiropractic treatment for herniated discs and sciatica. If you’re ready to find pain relief and promote healing in your spine, schedule an appointment using the online booking feature or by calling the office in Long Beach, California.
Your spine has discs between the vertebrae. These rubbery pads have a cartilage outer shell that contains a gel-like center. This combination of strong cartilage and cushioning gel give discs the ability to absorb shock and let your spine move freely and smoothly.
You develop a herniated disc when the outer layer becomes damaged or weak. Then pressure from the vertebrae forces the inner gel to protrude out from the edges of the disc.
The bulge, or herniation, can press on nerves in the area. This causes swelling in the nerves, which in turn leads to pain and other symptoms.
You’re more likely to have a herniated disc as you get older. Over time, the discs lose moisture and suffer daily wear and tear that makes the outer shell deteriorate. As a result, the disc becomes susceptible to weakening or tearing, which leads to a herniation.
Herniated discs most often occur in your lower back, because it sustains so much pressure. However, they can also develop in your neck.
Depending on the location of the herniated disc, you may experience:
As a herniated disc causes spinal instability, you may also develop painful muscle spasms as the muscles try to restore stability.
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed as it leaves the base of your spine. With sciatica, the pain radiates down through one side of your buttocks and down your leg. Most cases of sciatica are caused by a herniated disc that’s irritating the sciatic nerve.
Thoracic outlet syndrome includes several conditions that occur when nerves or blood vessels between your collarbone and first rib become compressed.
This condition can mimic a pinched nerve in your neck, as it causes pain in your neck and numbness or tingling in the affected arm and hands.
Dr. Sandahl may recommend one or more of the many possible chiropractic treatments that can relieve your pain and treat a herniated disc. Your treatment may include techniques such as:
When you suffer from back pain or develop tingling or numbness in your arms or legs, call Tier Wellness Center or book an appointment online.