Common Causes of Disc Injuries | Chiropractor for Disc Injury in Lubbock, TX
Hello, Dr. Greg Marin here at 1-Spine Chiropractic. Today we’re talking about some common causes of disc injuries and one of the biggest ones we see here at the office, which is a bulging disc.
A Bulged Disc
So over time this will dehydrate the outer layer and the cartilage will stiffen. These changes can cause the outer layer of the disc to bulge up. Some protruding discs can be painless, but if this bulges out enough, it can irritate nearby nerves leading to numbness, tingling, weakness, cramping, spasms, and even shooting pain down the arms and the legs. Age is the biggest biggest risk factor for a lot of these common disc issues, making it more common in older people than in younger people. So improper lifting techniques accumulated with trauma from poor posture or even obesity or genetics can play a role. Acute trauma can also lead to a bulging disc. Another type of herniated disc, which can worsen to the point of rupture and even cause serious symptoms, is a disc herniation. These are more likely to cause pain and bulges when the outer layer the cartilage tears, the softer inner layer of the material protrudes out of the disc nucleus and will irritate nerve roots causing painful inflammation that could affect your ability to walk.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common types of disc injuries and it isn’t generally considered to be an acute onset problem, but these are this is an age related condition. This is when the disc of the spine wears down over time and get smaller. Then we can’t put pressure on the nerves and this causes symptoms with repetitive motion and wear and tear. Other risk factors accelerate degenerative progression including being overweight or obese. Smoking is another accelerating factor for common symptoms that we typically see with lower back pain. The radiant pain that goes down the legs and the hips, that is known as sciatica, even comes up in the neck and we have radiant pain down the arms called Radiculopathy. Depending on how much the nerves are being affected, this is something we want to get to right away and get get some treatment as quick as we can. It is important to understand that these are diseases we cannot let get worse. This is something we can help manage and slow down the progression. Chiropractic, spinal decompression and exercise are three fantastic treatment options that can improve range of motion, decrease pain and increase your overall function. Since a condition cannot be fully corrected all the time, the goal then becomes achieving and maintaining the highest quality of life possible. A Chiropractic lifestyle can help make that a reality for you, or for someone you know who is suffering from degenerative disc disease.
Another term that we associate with disc injuries is often referred to as a slipped disc. This is when the outer cartilage becomes weak and tears, allowing the inner gelatin layer in the center of the disc to slip out. Age again, is a primary factor for this common condition because of general wear and tear of the disc, but certain repetitive motions or improper lifting techniques increase the risk of a slipped disc. That’s why it’s very important to have any discomfort examined by a Chiropractor, to perform imaging if necessary, and to get to the root cause of any symptomatic pain. As we mentioned earlier, disc injuries are commonly the result of gradual wear and tear on the cartilage rings around a nucleus. It isn’t so much the incident itself when you feel the pain, but rather the 1,000 movements prior to that which slowly damage the disc over time. For this reason, certain fields of work tend to have more disc injuries and others. One such example this is hard labor jobs, such as a roofers, mechanics or laborers who are bending and leaning over all day every day. These jobs require lots of bending, lifting and twisting motions as I mentioned earlier, which frequently through each shift accumulate with time, so they put the spine in flexion forward rotation at the same time. Then this is a prime mechanism, which through the bulging disc, comes out and causes a lot of irritations and herniations.
The Benefits & Risks of Exercise
Lifting weights is a fantastic form of exercise that has been shown to provide numerous health benefits both physically and mentally. However, heavy lifting also places a great deal of stress on the body, and especially on the spine. Our spine is always carrying the weight of our head plus the weight of gravity. When we add weight on top of that we increase the load of the disc in our spine. When a heavy lift is performed, it sharply increases intraabdominal pressure, which also increases intradermal pressure in the spine. If there is a preexisting weakness in the disc the likelihood that herniation drastically increases. So we got to make sure we’re lifting properly and we’re going to be lifting properly even using belts when needed. It is important to remember that heavy lifting doesn’t just occur in the gym, people move furniture around their houses or move houses altogether. There are many circumstances in which lifting is necessary. If lifting was done improperly, there’s an increased risk of getting injured in the process. You should always be lifting objects primarily with the legs rather than bending at the waist or using the back. This is the best way to avoid unnecessary stress on your lower back.
Auto Accidents & Disc Injuries
All right, another form of disc injury is from auto accidents. Remember that disc injuries can happen in other parts of the spine other than just the lower back. The cervical spine, which is also known as a net, is a common place for disc injuries to occur. One of the most common causes of this injuries in the neck is auto accidents, especially when we get whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head moves back and forth and in auto accidents it damages the muscles and ligaments around the cervical spine and even cause damage to the disc as well. Symptoms can include neck pain, arm pain, numbness and tingling now that arm burning and even weakness in that area. The other type of disc injury is from respiratory illness. In the midst of the pandemic, the world is very fluid in the respiratory disease such as COVID-19, the flu or even the common cold. Everyone is hyper aware of these everyday symptoms are experiencing with respiratory illness such as these is widely known that the two most common symptoms are coughing, and sneezing. Unfortunately, these two activities are have the potential to cause problems for the disc in the spine. Coughing and sneezing are the two actions that require a sharp increase in intra abdominal pressure. An increase in intra abdominal pressure leads to increased pressure on the spine, and therefore in the disc.
Come see us at 1-Spine Chiropractic to relieve your disc injuries.