A herniated disk is one of the most prevalent back issues people face, affecting three million Americans each year, mostly people in their 30s and 40s. Dr. Troy Allam, who works out of the offices of Craig Ranch Chiropractic in McKinney, Texas, is experienced at treating patients with herniated disks, offering a variety of physical therapy methods and pain medications. If you’re suffering from pain and numbness in your back and legs, you might have a herniated disk or be at risk. If this describes you, make an appointment online or by phone to meet with Dr. Allam to better understand the risk factors, your condition, and your treatment options.
Your spine consists of bones and disc. Discs are similar to soft cushioning that bridges the bones of your spine. The discs allow your back range of motion to bend and move. When one of the disc in your spine between a set of bones bulges out and rubs against the nerves, irritating them, the condition is called a herniated disc.
Herniated discs usually occur in the lumbar spine, the lower portion of your spine located between the bottom of your ribs and hips.
A disc sticking out and irritating a nerve can trigger pain in your back and legs. The location and severity of the pain depends on specifics about the disc involved. Many herniated discs patients experience sciatica, a symptom referring to pain felt down the buttocks and further extending down the back of one leg, down to the calf, and sometimes in the toes. Some will feel pain in both legs.
You usually feel the pain get worse while you’re active, with pain subsiding some while resting. Activities like coughing, sneezing, sitting, driving, and bending put pressure on the nerve. Changing positions or shifting weight might temporarily relieve the pain.
Dr. Allam performs a thorough physical exam. He may also look at X-rays or other diagnostic imaging tests to determine whether you have a herniated disc.
In addition to prescribing pain medication, Dr. Allam may offer you a series of therapeutic exercises and stretches for your neck, back, and extremities. These exercises provide many benefits during your healing process. Maintaining therapeutic stretching after rehabilitation helps you keep your tissues flexible and loose, improving your mobility and range of motion while also preventing new injuries.
Most people do. Usually, you can expect to recover fully in about four weeks. Sometimes it can take longer. If you’re still experiencing pain or numbness after six weeks or if your symptoms are getting worse, come back to see Dr. Allam. Continued pain could point to a more serious problem.