Here are the concluding points of my seven things you need to know about herniated disc injury…
4. A Simple X-Ray Is Not Enough for Diagnosis
A common exam for spinal herniation is the positive straight-leg-raising test. The patient is asked to raise their leg while lying down. If it elicits the pain or causes an abnormal sensation in the leg or foot, doctors take it as a sign of herniation. However, blood tests are required to see if there is any sign of inflammation. If all these tests point towards an inflammation, a plain X-ray will be done to see if there is a fracture or any other reason behind the pain and inflammation. This X-ray, however, cannot reveal herniation.
CT Scans and MRI give a clear picture of herniation and allow the doctor to identify the damaged nerves. In complicated cases, Electromyogram EMG and Nerve Conduction Studies NCS are conducted to accurately determine the damage.
5. The Risk Is Higher for Some People
While disc herniation is generally believed to be age related, there are many other contributing factors that increase the risk for some people.
People with sedentary jobs are more likely to suffer from this issue, especially if their sitting posture is incorrect.
Interestingly, people with excessively physical jobs that involve lifting and pulling heavy objects are also prone to this condition.
Excess body weight also puts a lot of strain on the spine and therefore obese and overweight people are at a higher risk of a slipped disc. Last, as we mentioned genetics also has a role to play.
6. Prudence Can Help You Prevent the Problem
Expect for genetics, you can fix all other issues to reduce your risk. It is true that age-related degeneration will deplete the amount of fluid in the disc but with proper measures, you can prevent herniation to a great extent.
Exercise is a great way to strengthen your core and protect your spine. Strong muscles keep the strain off your spine and provide it a stable support. Posture, while sitting particularly, is very important for your spinal wellbeing. Keep your back straight while sitting or standing. Try to use your leg and core muscles when lifting heavy objects.
Eat a balanced diet and keep a check on your weight to keep your spine in good shape.
7. There Are Several Treatment Options
One of the most important things you need to know about herniated disc injury is that it is treatable. Depending on the damage, you have several treatment options. For minor damage and discomfort, doctors typically prescribe pain relievers and recommend exercise to improve disc position.
For patients with severe pain or symptoms that may not subside with muscle relaxers and nerve pain relievers, surgical discectomy or disc replacement is advised. Physical therapy can play a major role in recovery. Do ask your therapist about telemedicine pros and cons. The good news is that telemedicine can bring ‘physical therapy’ home.
While herniated disc injury is not uncommon, it can be prevented to a great extent. If you experience pain in your back or neck, visit a doctor for proper diagnosis. If you have already been diagnosed with disc herniation, do not delay treatment. Make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent further damage.
James Crook is a passionate blogger who loves to write on health and fitness related topics. Currently, he is a working as a blogger for a Physical Fitness Dr Wilson shoulder Surgeon. Follow @jamescrook911 for more updates.