What are Herniated Discs?
In the great majority of cases, disc degenerative disease (DDD, includes: herniation, bulge, and protrusion) is partly the aging process but often accelerated by accumulation of bad posture and habits such as sedentary lifestyle, inappropriate diet and improper or omission of spinal maintenance.
As we get older, our discs lose their flexibility through the loss of moisture and become susceptible to rupture. Consequently, we usually can’t point out a single cause of this condition other than trauma.
However, there are a few rather significant factors that when combined can lead to what medical experts often call disc degeneration disease (DDD).
Here are some factors:
- Obesity — if you want to avoid disc degeneration, you should do your best not to become overweight. The heavier you are, the more pressure your discs will have to carry, and the harmfulness of obesity increases exponentially with age.
- Profession — Depending on what you do, your job might be one of the factors that contribute to disc degeneration. People whose occupation is physically demanding, as well as those who have to do a lot of repetitive pulling, lifting, bending, and pushing are more prone to disc prolapse. The modern world of sitting, phone and computer activity have made this sedentary work environment harmful to spine and disc health.
- Heredity — some people may inherit a susceptibility to disc herniation, and they should pay special attention to avoiding all of the contributing factors.
- Smoking — just like with many other dangerous ailments, smoking is often mentioned as one of the leading causes of disc degeneration. Namely, the long-term consumption of tobacco undeniably affects the oxygen supply to the disc and makes it more susceptible to injuries.
In general, DDD (degenerative disc disease) tends to appear in the lower back area. However, more and more because of postures with phone and computer use patients suffer from a DDD in the neck region. Symptoms may vary depending primarily on the location of the disc in question and whether it presses on a nerve or not.
The usual signs can be described as:
- Severe arm or leg pain — if the herniated disc is located in the lower back region, the pain will radiate into the gluteal, leg and/or foot. On the other hand, if the herniated disc is in the neck region, the patient is most likely to feel severe pain in his arms and shoulders. On top of that, regardless of the disc’s location, all patients are usually highly irritated by coughing and sneezing. These sudden contractions and uncontrollable movements of the abdomen will cause pain that many describe as burning and sharp.
- Occasional numbness/tingling — patients who have a herniated disc are very likely to experience part-time or even permanent numbness in the affected regions. Some describe it as tingling or as a complete loss of sensation, in and around the disc. And even though you might feel tempted to scratch especially if you feel tingling, you should refrain from it because it will probably only worsen the situation.
- Overall weakness — muscles that depend on the affected nerve tend to weaken over time. The situation gets worse as the patient gets older and his ability to lift or hold heavy objects might be seriously affected.
How can Dr. Tod Cahill help with disc degeneration?
As a well-established Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractor, Dr. Tod Cahill has extensive experience with all sorts of spine-related injuries. Over the last few years, his herniated disc treatment brought him well-deserved respect in the medical circles in the Middle East and especially in Dubai where he currently lives and works. His passionate attention to details and his extensive knowledge of the human body allow him to provide flawless diagnoses, predictions, and treatment plans. The non-invasive and effective Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic therapies have already improved the lives of numerous patients.
Dr.Cahill uses many tools during the AO chiropractic treatments:
- Atlas Orthogonal Instrument
- The Intersegmental Traction Therapy Table
- The Flexion-Distraction Table
- The Activator
- The Drop Table
- Erchonia Laser