Ruptured Disc Pain
Preventing Ruptured Disc Pain
Ruptured disc pain is becoming a prevalent complaint among office workers who are exposed to long hours of working in front of their computers. Many years ago, this symptom was only commonly seen among old people or those constantly exposed to the inherent risks of intense physical activities as in athletes or workers in the construction industry. However, more and more doctors are seeing lower back complaints from sedentary folk, typically indicative of herniated disc issues.
There are a variety of causes for herniated discs. In most cases, the spinal area weakens as one ages eventually resulting to a tear in the spinal column and disc herniation or the “leaking” of spinal fluid into the ruptured vertebral portion. This leaked spinal sac can press on sensitive nerves in the lower back area resulting to pain. In other cases, intense physical activities can artificially induce a disc rupture resulting to pain. Accidents like falls and slides can also lead to ruptured disc pain and so does static loading of the lower back muscles caused by improper posture while working in front of the computer for extended periods of time especially when proper stretching and work break routines are not observed.
While ruptured disc pain can be managed at home via simple therapy sessions and an alteration of one’s lifestyle and working habits, it is important to see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis. When asked, be specific with the symptoms; describe the pain severity and frequency properly as well as what you were doing in the days leading to the onset of pain. This can narrow down potential causes without having to resort to more elaborate tests such as X-rays, MRIs or even a CT scan. In cases where the patient feels numbness in both legs or a reduction in control of bladder and bowel functions, it is absolutely necessary to seek urgent medical care as this can be the sign of more serious medical conditions such as cauda equine syndrome or the squeezing of the bundle of nerves located just at the end of the spinal cord.
Ruptured disc pain management involves significant rest and alteration of old lifestyle and work habits. First off, pain management medication is necessary to reduce the severity of the pain. It is generally advised to take painkillers before the onset of a full-blown herniated disc pain attack but there are no existing definitive guidelines to suggest when one will feel pain. This happens on a case to case basis and the patient has to learn to detect potential cues like headaches, lightheadedness, or tightness in the back area as an indication that a ruptured disc pain bout is about to erupt.
Herniated disc cases also require extended periods of rest with minimal to zero physical activity to allow the body to heal itself. When diagnosed with a herniated disc, take at least two weeks off from work and rest the back area. Regularly stretch by slowly bending over forward and also to both sides to relive the pressure on the lower back. Ruptured disc pain can also be improved by good posture such as sitting down or standing up straight or by observing proper lifting posture when picking a heavy package off the floor. In some cases, the work of an expert physical therapist will be needed to strengthen the back muscles in order to hold the herniated area and prevent the disc from bulging out any further.
More extreme cases require surgical intervention but even in this cases, the prognosis for a complete recovery are above excellent. Of course, it is also recommended to change one’s habits altogether, starting with minimizing heavy lifting jobs, observing proper work breaks and stretching, avoiding intensive physical play altogether like football and basketball and even repetitive motions that can trigger lower back pain such as running or biking. Estimates put the recovery period at 4 to 6 weeks and one should be back to being pain-free within the period.
In the end, the best cure is always prevention. Observe proper work and play habits especially when dealing with your lower back. There is no substitute for proper personal care and you will never have to deal with ruptured disc pain if you stick to proper posture and regular exercises to strengthen your lower back muscles.
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