Herniated Disc in Littleton CO
For some in Littleton, back pains have a clear, obvious cause, such as ignoring the limitations of your muscles during moving day or lifting too many heavy objects. For others, however, back pain has far less clear causes. Even with a less physically demanding lifestyle, people can struggle with uncomfortable, potentially debilitating back pain.
The National Center for Health Statistics show that about 13% of hospital admissions are related to back pain. Of that figure, 35% of the diagnosed patients attribute the cause of the back pain to a bulging or herniated disc. In fact, it’s one of the more common causes for persistent, recurring back pain. So what is it? How does a person get it? And what can be done about it once it happens?
You Have Discs In Your Back
Your back is not one solid piece of bone. Instead, it’s made up of 33 individual bones that are stacked one on top of the other. This acts as both a frame for your body, as well as the “telephone pole” on which your spinal cord is built. This cluster of nerves carries most of the sensation back and forth up the length of your body.
However, our chiropractor at Littleton Chiropractic knows that those bones in your spine aren’t just sitting directly on each other. Twenty-three of those bones are separated by a flexible, muscular, jelly-like substance shaped like a disc. The disc is designed to let the bones align smoothly together, but it also acts as a shock absorber. When you experience anything that applies force to your back, those soft intervertebral discs safely absorb the force, keeping it away from your harder, more brittle bones. When these discs work as intended, they are responsible for a lot of protection and pain management in your back.
The Pain Between Your Bones
Time, particular sprains or injuries, repetitive postures like sitting too long every day in an office chair, or even prolonged stress can have a negative effect on these discs in your back. This can eventually cause the disc to deform or lose its flexibility, causing a bulge as force is concentrated in one place. You might not even notice a deformation of the disc at first, as it gradually builds up over time.
Eventually, as the condition worsens, you will experience the bulge as a pain in your back, especially if it starts making contact with other parts of your back, something that is never supposed to happen. The condition may even worsen if improper forces continue to be applied. Imagine your two bones that the disc is sandwiched between constantly squeezing on it. This constant pressure can develop from a bulge to an actual tear, at which point you now have a herniated disc.
Chiropractors Can Help
Pain killers in Littleton just hide a symptom, not address the cause, while surgery is a very drastic and invasive procedure that can also be very expensive. Fortunately, there are other alternatives in the form of a consultation with a knowledgeable chiropractor.
If you take the time to visit with a chiropractor, you can go through an extensive examination process that involves MRI or X-ray imaging if it is required. Once the cause of a back pain has been located, such as a herniated disc, a treatment plan can be put together that is both long term in solution, and non-invasive in application. Realigning your backbone, or other techniques such as spinal decompression therapy are effective solutions that make a real difference in your quality of life.
If you have back pain but aren’t sure what to do about it, don’t ignore it and try to get by with painkillers. However, you also shouldn’t assume you’ll need to get surgery to treat the problem. Consult with a chiropractor at Littleton Chiropractic and get a professional evaluation.
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