Back Pain and Numbness? It Could Be Herniated Disc
Herniated disc, commonly referred to as slip disc, is the damage of the tissues separating vertebral bones in the spinal cord. The most common area affected is in the disc between fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae. This area receives and absorbs the impact of the weight of the upper body and with age, the water content acting as the cushion in the discs begins to dry out, making them brittle, which is one causal factor of Herniated disc.
Herniated disc impacts the spinal nerves which lead to pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms. Age and other factors such as; overweight, consumption of tobacco products, poor posture habits, and involvement in high-impact sports activities are also related to Herniated disc.
The most vulnerable portion of the spine includes flexible areas of cervical and lumbar regions, each with their specific symptoms. Abnormal reflexes may lead to pain, tingling and numbness due to nerve compression affecting shoulders, hand, knee and thigh muscles.
Depending on the severity, treatment options include physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory and muscle-relaxant medications and in some instances, surgical operations. Modifications in the lifestyle to improve spinal health like weight loss, reduction in alcohol and tobacco consumption and involvement of regular exercises can circumvent the symptoms and surgery. Hot and cold therapy can also aid in reducing inflammation and causes muscles to relax. Intentional yoga practices have also displayed positive signs and have caused a significant reduction in back pain.