Spinal discs are the soft cushions between the bones in your spine. These discs enable your spine to move, and they provide shock absorption. Unfortunately, aging, weight gain, poor posture, cigarette use, and a sedentary lifestyle can cause discs to become more vulnerable to injuries.
To help you gain a better understanding of what your symptoms may indicate, read on. Below, our team at Momentum Physical Therapy outlines the warning signs of a disc injury so you know when to seek professional help.
Warmth and redness in your back could indicate inflammation. Disc strains can cause an inflammatory response as red blood cells rush to the area where too much pressure is put on the disc to heal it.
Numbness and tingling could indicate that your disc has slipped out of place, putting pressure on the surrounding nerves and irritating them.
Radiating pain towards your buttocks and legs could be a sign of sciatica, a condition in which the nerves in the lower back become irritated. With adequate rest, most people are able to recover from sciatica at home. However, sciatica may flare up again unless you eliminate its triggers.
Severe disc injuries may involve the compression of the nerve controlling the bowel and the bladder. Incontinence could be an indication of Cauda equina syndrome, a condition caused by a large disc herniation.
If you’re experiencing bowel and urinary incontinence, seek emergency medical attention. Left untreated, Cauda equina syndrome can lead to lower extremities paralysis.
Most disc injuries are caused by compression of the discs, degenerative disease, and poor blood flow to the disc.
However, you can lower your chances of developing disc injuries by making a few lifestyle changes, including the following:
The shoes you wear on a daily basis matter as well. For example, wearing high heels regularly can interfere with the normal alignment of the spine.
If you’re recovering from a disc injury or currently experiencing pain, our team at Momentum Physical Therapy can help you build strength in your back and prevent future injuries with the help of customized exercises.
Contact us to schedule an appointment. Find out how we can help you recover from a disc injury and reduce your chances of getting injured again.