Treating Herniated Discs in central Indiana

Are you dealing with significant back pain that has disrupted your daily life? A herniated disc could be the cause of your discomfort. Also called slipped or ruptured spinal discs, this condition causes severe pain and limits mobility. Typically, these discs play a crucial role in flexibility and cushioning the spine. But when a disc herniates, it can lead to an array of symptoms that take a toll on your ability to live life as normal. Fortunately, Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics is here to help residents in central Indiana living with a herniated disc. Explore this condition’s causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and the array of treatment options available. When you better understand herniated discs, you’re better equipped on your path toward recovery.

What Is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner gel in the spinal disc pushes out through a tear in the tougher outer layer. This can lead to pressure on nearby nerves, resulting in pain, weakness, or numbness in the arms or legs. At the first sign of a herniated disc, you should seek medical advice for a proper diagnosis and treatment options.


Am I Experiencing Herniated Disc Symptoms?

A herniated disc might only cause you minimal pain, but in most cases, patients feel significant discomfort from the condition. Know the warning signs of a herniated disc so you can seek treatment right away. This condition can feel different from patient to patient, but most people report one or more of these symptoms:

• Sharp, sustained pains
• Dull aches
• Numbness or tingling in one leg (sciatica)
• Muscle weakness
• Shooting pain down the arms and legs

The Risk Factors of a Herniated Disc

Some people are at higher risk of getting a herniated disc than others. If any of the following conditions apply to you, be especially vigilant for herniated disc symptoms:

• Aging—With age, our bodies naturally weaken. Older individuals may have more trouble with herniated discs, although younger people may also develop the condition. The dehydration of the discs over time reduces their ability to act as shock absorbers, and consequently, they become more prone to damage.
• Genetics—Some people have a genetic predisposition to disc degeneration. Certain genes may contribute more to conditions that cause or exacerbate disc herniation.
• Lifestyle—Things like poor posture, obesity, and lack of adequate exercise can all put undue stress on the spine, causing discs to weaken and potentially herniate.
• Occupation—Jobs that require heavy lifting and repetitive movements can lead to spinal injuries and herniated discs.

What Causes a Herniated Disc?

The first step to avoiding a herniated disc is understanding what causes them. While sometimes an injury is inevitable, knowing what you’re up against goes a long way to prevention. Here are a few primary causes of herniated discs:

• Heavy Lifting—Do you have a strenuous job? Or lift heavy weights at the gym. Keep in mind that heavy lifting is a top cause of herniated discs. This excess strain on the lower back can rupture a disc’s outer layer, leading to the displacement of the inner material.
• Repetitive Strain— Repetitive activities, particularly those involving the back, can also result in disc herniation. Over time, these movements can damage the discs, leading to weakness and eventual herniation.
• Sports Injuries—Participation in certain sports, especially those with a high risk of falls or impacts, can lead to disc herniation if the spine undergoes sudden, forceful trauma.
• Natural Degeneration—Natural degeneration over time causes discs to dry out and weaken, making them more prone to herniation. Although this is a normal part of aging, patients can still find relief through herniated disc treatment.

How We Treat Herniated Discs

Herniated disc treatment can vary from person to person. Depending on the severity of your pain, our team of experts may recommend a different approach. Learn more about these ways to treat a herniated disc:

Medication

Many types of medication have proven useful for alleviating herniated disc pain. In addition to avoiding movements that cause discomfort, patients can benefit from the following medicines:

• Over-the-counter medication, like acetaminophen and ibuprofen
• Neuropathic drugs
• Muscle relaxers
• Cortisone injections

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy and rehabilitation can help alleviate herniated disc pain. Our specialists in this type of medical care can instruct you on practical exercises and positions that minimize pain. At Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, we offer rehabilitation services beyond herniated discs, such as orthotics, dry needling and hydroworx therapy.

Surgery

While most cases of herniated discs are treated with less invasive methods, sometimes surgery is necessary especially if arm or leg weakness is developing. If conservative treatments have not brought you significant relief, our specialists may recommend a surgical procedure in which the protruding part of the disc is removed. Should surgery be needed to repair your herniated disc, we will explain the process in depth and prepare you for not only surgery, but for rehabilitation to come thereafter.

Ways to Prevent a Herniated Disc

They say prevention is the best medicine—and they’re right! While herniated discs are often not avoidable, you do have ways to lower your chances of developing this condition. Here are our tips for preventing a herniated disc in the long run:

• Maintain a Healthy Weight— Excess weight can strain the lower back and increase the likelihood of disc herniation. We recommend speaking with your physician for personalized advice about weight management.

• Exercise Regularly— Engaging in regular exercise that includes strength training and flexibility can help support the back and reduce the risk of injury and chronic back pain.

• Practice Proper Posture—Adopting good posture while sitting, standing, and walking can keep the spine properly aligned. When it comes to lifting, use the legs and keep the back straight to protect the spine from unnecessary stress.

• Avoid Sitting for Long Periods—If you tend to sit for long periods of time, be sure to get up and move or stretch occasionally. Being proactive helps prevent undue strain on the spine.

• Use Ergonomic Furniture—For those who sit for the whole workday, ergonomic furniture is an excellent investment. These items can ensure the body is adequately supported while working.

Request an Appointment Today

A herniated disc is painful and treatment should be sought right away. The team at Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics provides consultation to help you work toward a pain-free life in our Carmel, Greenwood, Noblesville and Tipton offices.. Contact us today to for a customized treatment plan.

Our Noblesville Forté Fast urgent care clinic will close at 11:00 am on Friday, April 19th.

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