If you are struggling with chronic back pain, know that you’re not alone. Millions of people suffer from back pain, making it one of the main reasons for disability and limited activity in America. Pinpointing the exact cause of your back pain can sometimes be an elusive process, as there are several causes when it comes to this kind of problem.
These causes often include problems with muscles and ligaments, improper sleeping position, and injuries. Specific problems with the spine, which includes several vertebrae and discs, may also be the source of back pain. Sometimes problems in the spine can result in a herniated disc. It’s important to see a medical professional as soon as possible to begin treatment for a herniated disc, so that your condition doesn’t worsen overtime and cause more issues!
If you’re experiencing back pain that might be the result of a herniated disc, physical therapy could be your solution. Call our office today to find out how we can help reduce or even eliminate your back pain.
What is a herniated disc?
A herniated disc occurs when one of the rubbery discs that are between each of the individual vertebrae in your back slips out of place. The interior part of each disc is softer than the exterior, and when the soft part pushes through a tear in the outer shell of the disc, it becomes a herniated disc.
A person’s pain levels with this condition depend on where in the back the disc is located and how far the interior of the disc is pushed out. A herniated disc is sometimes called a slipped, ruptured, or bulging disc.
What causes a herniated disc?
There are times where discs naturally become weak and degenerate, however, there are several reasons you may suffer from a herniated disc. It may occur from an accident or any time you suffer an injury to your back.
Your likelihood of experiencing this type of pain may also increase as you continue to age. Once a disc becomes weak a minor movement or strain could cause the disc to slip or rupture. Some people may have a genetic predisposition for this type of condition.
The symptoms a person experiences will vary widely depending on the position of the disc and if it’s actually touching a nerve. Pain could range from minor to excruciating.There are several symptoms associated with a herniated disc, and it is important to contact a doctor if you feel any of these:
- Leg or arm pain
- Tingling or numbness
It’s better to get help sooner rather than later if you feel this kind of pain. Back pain may be common, but it’s still very serious and could be the result of an underlying injury that you aren’t aware of!
How will physical therapy help my back pain?
A physical therapist is a movement specialist, educated in analyzing mobility issues with walking, running, jumping, bending, stretching, and almost every other form of physical activity. They are equipped to pinpoint problem areas and create a customized treatment plan aimed at improving or relieving pain conditions. This is accomplished through in-office sessions and at-home exercises. Patients will learn to strengthen their muscles and joints, improve their balance, build endurance, and experience pain relief, all without the unwanted harmful risks of drugs or surgery.
You may have been told that surgery is necessary to treat a herniated disc. The unfortunate truth is that surgery, which carries the risk of several serious side effects, shouldn’t be your first choice! Physical therapy is a much safer and healthier option that can often help alleviate the pain associated with a herniated disc. There are several treatment options a therapist may use, including deep tissue massage techniques which can relieve deep spasms and tension in your back.
Other methods might include cold and hot therapy, hydrotherapy, and traction. Move Forward states that for a diagnosis that’s been made within 48 hours a physical therapist might advise you to sit in firm chairs and to stay moderately active to reduce pain and stiffness.
If you think your back pain is caused by a herniated disc, rest assured that this isn’t the end of the world! A trained physical therapist may be able to help. You’ll want to seek out professional help as soon as possible to prevent further damage from occurring. A physical therapist will likely conduct an extensive evaluation before creating a specific treatment program that is unique to your pain symptoms and needs. They’ll have you feeling better in no time, and even teach you methods to prevent future injuries from happening.
Call our clinic today for more information
There are many courses of treatment using physical therapy that may be able to decrease or completely eliminate your symptoms when it comes to back pain caused by herniated discs. Contact St. Luke’s Physical Therapy for more information about eliminating your back pain!