Herniated disc is a condition characterized the breaking or cracking of the annulus fibrosus that serves as a cushion for each disc in the spine. In most cases, this only affects the lower back. But, in rarer instances, it can also occur in the neck or the upper back. Symptoms of this condition include pain, numbness or tingling and weakness in the affected areas. The good news is that seeking herniated disc treatment is fairly easy particularly in Northern, NJ.
Before undergoing treatment, however, patients should learn about certain risk factors that consequently make the condition worse. This can help make the treatment more effective and prevent symptoms from coming back.
Excess Body Weight
Being overweight or obese can put unnecessary strain on the lower back, particularly on the discs. Doctors would recommend losing weight through healthy means. For instance, regular exercise can not only trim down that waist line, but also help strengthen bone structure. A change in diet is also in order for better weight management since inadequate intake of nutrition is also known to cause poor disc health.
Smoking is generally known as an unhealthy habit, but what is unknown to many is that its effects extend to more than just the lungs. Nicotine and tobacco are said to keep the spinal discs from absorbing nutrients from the blood. This significantly weakens them and make them more likely to be vulnerable to strain and possible injuries. The fact that smoking also increases the body’s sensitivity to pain also makes managing the symptoms that much more difficult.
If your job requires you to perform repetitive actions such as lifting, pushing, pulling, etc., you are at a slightly higher risk to develop herniated disc. All these activities may affect your posture. For example, simply lifting a heavy object the wrong way can increase disc pressure to several hundred pounds per inch. To avoid further damaging the discs, employees should use the correct body mechanics that will reduce the stress on the lumbar spine.
Disc pain relief is not always in the form of surgery. In fact, very few people need to be on the operating table for treatment since there are many alternative options that are just as successful. Physical therapy, for example, is the ideal choice particularly for patients in Paramus, NJ who have negative reactions to some medications.
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Lumbar Herniated Disc, SpineUniverse
Herniated Disk, Mayo Clinic