Disc Herniation: What Is It?

This January, we are focused on educating you about disc herniations. What is it exactly and how can you heal from it successfully? Disc herniation (also known as a slipped disk) is one of the most common causes of leg and back pain.

A herniated disc occurs when one of the cushions between vertebrae moves out of place. It can happen on any part of the spine, often irritating nearby nerves, which results in pain, numbness or weakness in the limbs. 
Herniated discs can result from the following:

Wear and tear: Discs dry out from a variety of factors, like genetics, smoking, aging, and trauma

Repetitive movements:
 Work, lifestyle, and sports that put stress on the spine weaken an already vulnerable area

Lifting the wrong way: Proper lifting entails lifting with your legs and maintaining a straight back

Injury: High-impact trauma can cause the disc to bulge, tear, or rupture

Obesity: Carrying excess weight puts an undue amount of strain on the spine

Genetics:
 There are some genes that are more commonly present in individuals with disc degeneration

The good news is, most disc herniations repair themselves within 6 months and surgery is not always necessary. It’s important, however, to take action to eliminate further irritating the disc. Refraining from high-impact exercise, strengthening the core, keeping good posture, and being gentle on your body are all good steps in caring for a slipped disc. Be sure to speak with your doctor about the best pathway to healing for your body. 

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