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Herniated discs are a common cause of chronic back pain in both men and women, especially pain in the lower back (the lumbar spine) and upper back and neck (the cervical spine). Unlike other types of back pain that can be caused by overworked or strained muscles, herniated discs involve nerve impingement and irritation caused by a disc that slips out of its normal position between the spine bones (or vertebrae). As a leading chiropractor in Fairfax, Dr. Christopher Frey offers comprehensive back pain treatment and other chiropractic care options aimed at relieving symptoms and preventing herniated discs from recurring.
Discs are spongy structures located between each pair of vertebrae. Their primary function is to act as tiny shock absorbers for your spine, preventing damage from impacts from daily activities like walking and running and from some types of traumatic injuries. In addition, the discs help keep your spine flexible so you can move and bend normally, preventing friction and discomfort during motion. A disc becomes herniated when it slips beyond the edges of the vertebrae, pressing on the nerves as they exit the spinal canal and causing painful irritation locally and along the nerve pathway. If a disc is severely “pinched” by the vertebrae on either side, it can rupture, leaking some of the gel-like material it contains and increasing nerve irritation and inflammation.
Lots of factors can cause a disc to become herniated. Some of the most common causes include:
Herniated discs tend to become more common with age.
Herniated discs often cause symptoms like dull aching, pain, tingling or burning sensations at the site of the injured disc, and they can also cause symptoms that radiate anywhere along the pathway of the affected nerve. For instance, sciatica is a common cause of pain, tingling and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, and legs, caused when a disc in the lumbar spine becomes herniated and presses on one or both branches of the sciatic nerve which extend down each leg.
While some types of back pain are temporarily relieved with rest, herniated disc symptoms can become worse when lying down, and long periods of sitting or standing can increase nerve irritation and exacerbate symptoms. Over time, the nerve impingement can cause permanent muscle weakness and a loss of sensation along the nerve pathway. Getting treatment at the first sign of a slipped or herniated disc is essential for avoiding long-term disability and for learning techniques that can prevent herniated discs from recurring.
At Circle Chiropractic Center, your back pain treatment begins with a physical exam using hands-on techniques to identify the specific cause of your symptoms so your treatment can be optimized for your needs. Once a herniated disc is diagnosed, your treatment may include spinal adjustments to gently coax the disc back into its proper position, massage and deep tissue manipulation to relieve nerve irritation and improve circulation, gentle therapeutic stretching exercises, and other techniques and lifestyle guidance to help relieve symptoms and prevent recurrence. Your treatment plan will be carefully customized for optimal long-term relief so you can get back to the activities you enjoy, without painful symptoms.
As a leading chiropractor in Fairfax, Dr. Christopher Frey and his team at Circle Chiropractic Center offers advanced techniques for back pain treatment using innovative, holistic approaches tailored to each patient’s specific needs. To find out what’s causing your back pain and to learn more about back pain treatment that can help you feel better, call Circle Chiropractic Center, P.C. at 703-385-2990 and schedule an appointment today.