Have you been in extreme pain and have no idea what’s causing it? It could be a herniated disc. The practitioners at our Atlanta treatment center see hundreds of patients every year suffering from this same ailment.
Here, we’ll explain exactly what a herniated disc is. We will also discuss the various treatments available to help relieve your pain.
What Exactly Is a Herniated Disc?
Most people have heard of a herniated, or “slipped” disc. A disc is simply the cushiony material between your vertebrae. They are meant to serve as a buffer so your vertebrae don’t rub together.
There are times when this cushion – or disc – pushes out beyond the vertebrae and hits a nerve. Or it can slide up or down too far along your spine. This herniation (protrusion) is what may be causing your back pain.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Herniated Discs?
A lot of our clients assume that herniated discs are primarily caused by motor vehicle accidents. However, while some are, in fact, caused by a car accident, there are several other causes as well.
Some of the more common causes of a herniated disc include the following:
- Lifting heavy objects, especially if you lift with your back and not your legs
- A fall, such as at a construction site
- Being struck in the back with a heavy or large object
- Twisting and turning either repetitively or the wrong way
- Aging can cause normal wear and tear on the body, especially the back
If you can’t pinpoint the exact moment when you injured your back, don’t feel bad. Most people that come to our Atlanta treatment center have no idea what caused their herniated disc.
What Impact Does a Herniated Disc Have on Your Daily Life?
As you can imagine, having a herniated disc can have a significant impact on your everyday life. Even mundane things like driving or watering your plants can be very difficult.
If you play sports, either academically or for fun, you may experience pain while playing. Even non-contact sports like golf or bowling can be nearly impossible for someone with a herniated disc.
How Does Our Atlanta Treatment Center Diagnose a Herniated Disc?
As stated earlier, a lot of our patients aren’t even aware that they have a herniated disc when they first come to our Atlanta treatment center. The only way our doctors can confirm this diagnosis is to run a series of tests.
Your physician will also ask you to fill out a questionnaire that lets them know a little more about your medical history. This questionnaire also gives them insight into what kind of activities you’re involved in.
Our Atlanta Injury Center Will Run a Host of Diagnostic Tests
There are certain tests that are much more helpful than others when it comes to diagnosing a herniated disc. For example, there are several neurological tests we perform at our Atlanta treatment center.
The neurological tests that we perform to help detect a herniated disc are:
- Nerve Conduction Study
In addition to these neurological tests, our practitioners also run some of the more standard tests, including:
- X-Ray – While X-rays on their own can’t prove that you have a herniated disc, they do help rule out other conditions.
- MRI – This can help your doctor pinpoint where the issues are and identify which discs may be affected.
- CT Scan – This test offers a combination of X-rays from various angles. This can help give your doctor a “big picture” image of your back.
How Do We Treat a Herniated Disc?
Obviously, if you have a herniated disc, you’re probably wondering what we can do to treat it. At a minimum, you’ll want to visit our Atlanta treatment center to see if we can help with your pain.
As far as treatment is concerned, it really depends on the patient. Until we have a chance to review your medical history and review the results from your diagnostic tests, there’s no way to know for sure which sort of treatment will work for you.
There Are Several Medications That Can Help Relieve the Pain
So many doctors are quick to write a prescription for opioids to treat the kind of pain caused by a herniated disc. However, given the current climate, opioids are a last resort for most practitioners.
Usually, the doctors at our Atlanta treatment center suggest over-the-counter medications. There are times, however, when over-the-counter medications won’t suffice.
If this is the case, we may prescribe any of the following treatments instead:
- Muscle relaxers
- Neuropathic drugs
- Cortisone injections
You Can Also Seek Physical Therapy at Our Atlanta Treatment Center
Many of the clients at our Atlanta treatment center prefer to avoid prescription medications if they can. In these cases, our doctors usually suggest physical therapy. You’ll learn various exercises that can help you reduce your pain levels and increase your mobility.
Surgery Is a Last Resort
If neither physical therapy nor medication helps relieve your pain, you may need to consider surgery. Now, surgery is a last resort. The experts at our Atlanta treatment center would much rather find a way to avoid this.
Surgery may help repair your herniated disc. However, it can also be painful. You’ll need plenty of time off work to recuperate. Plus, you may still need physical therapy after your surgery.
Visit Our Atlanta Treatment Center for Your Free Initial Assessment
If you’re experiencing terrible back pain, you could have a herniated disc. Most people don’t realize they have one until they’re in the emergency room or doctor’s office. In fact, we have dozens of people visit our Atlanta treatment center every month, desperate for relief.
Whether you already know you have a herniated disc or suspect you have one, we can help. You can call our Atlanta injury center at (855) 475-2588 and schedule your initial assessment.
We’ll work on getting a copy of your medical records to help move the process along. One of our expert staff will administer the necessary diagnostic tests to confirm that you are, in fact, suffering from a herniated disc.
There’s no reason to suffer in silence. Back pain, especially pain caused by a herniated disc, can be relentless. You may not be able to work or even enjoy normal things like going for a walk or jogging. The practitioners at our Atlanta treatment center can help.