Your discs are rubbery cushions that separate the bones in your spine. They are essential to moving with great ease and preventing injuries. However, not many people pay attention to their discs. Instead, they only bother knowing more about this structure when they get injured or experience mild to severe back pain or sciatica symptoms.
Do you happen to share a similar sentiment? Are you among the thousands looking for Oklahoma City sciatica relief and suspect of having a bulging or herniated disc? If your answers are yes to both queries, we strongly suggest going through our discussion below.
Degrees of Disc Injury
A damaged or injured spinal disc not only cause pain or limit movement. Instead, it can also reduce the flexibility and elasticity of your spinal bones’ cushioning materials. Ignored back injuries or spinal misalignment can also prevent your bones from receiving enough nutrition and hydration to stay healthy. This can result in different degrees of disc damage, such as:
This happens when the layers of your annulus fibrosis, or the tough circular exterior of the intervertebral disc that surrounds the soft inner core, weaken and allow the inner nucleus material to push the edges of the disc outwards. This causes the disk to become distorted, leading to the compression or irritation of the surrounding nerves and tissues. It can also trigger muscle spasms, normal range of movement loss, and extreme pain that may radiate down the arm or leg.
When your bulging disc is left unaddressed, it can worsen and lead to a herniated disk. This happens when your disc pushes out from the outermost layer of the annulus, causing significant inflammation and putting pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord. When you get disc herniation, it can be excruciatingly painful. In addition, you can experience numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms if it occurs in the neck. It’s also common to have a herniated disc in the lower back.
3 Complications Linked to Bulging or Herniated Discs
Few people experience bulging discs without pain or apparent effects. But for others, there can be complications and aggravated symptoms linked to bulging or herniated discs. Here are three of the most common complications seen by doctors, physical therapists, and upper cervical chiropractors who give Oklahoma City sciatica relief:
#1. Back and leg pain
Bulging or herniated discs tend to press against the spinal nerve roots. Sadly, when this happens, the nerve in the lower back gets compressed you become at risk of developing sciatica. Sciatica often causes various symptoms, including numbness, tingling, and weakness that stems from the lower back and radiates down the leg and foot.
Sciatic pain also brings sharp stabbing pain in the back or leg, significantly impacting your ability to walk and engage in physical activities. It can also worsen when you overexert your body during a workout routine.
#2. Cauda equina syndrome
Your herniated or bulging disc can lead to the onset of cauda equina syndrome – a rare nerve condition that causes symptoms such as:
- Loss of sensation in your lower limbs
- Urinary bladder incontinence
- Saddle anesthesia
- Fecal incontinence
- Sexual dysfunction
Patients with cauda equina syndrome often need urgent medical assistance because of the severe disability caused by the condition. Sometimes, it requires surgical correction to remove the pressure on the nerve root and allow the body to heal.
#3. Permanent nerve damage
Some bulging discs resolve on their own, but we encourage you to take your pain more seriously when it happens again. A significant complication of a bulging disc is permanent nerve damage, especially when you repeatedly ignore the pain. Your nerve roots in the spine can experience permanent damage, which only brings chronic pain, weakness, and loss of sensation to affected body parts.
Oklahoma City Sciatica Relief That Works
Your overall spine health is essential to ensure that every vertebra and disc stays in good shape. So we encourage you to take advantage of upper cervical care and pay more attention to your neck bones. This might help you lessen your risks of complications and avoid aggravating your bulging disc problem.
It’s crucial to note that the upper cervical vertebrae are not like the rest of the spinal bones. Instead, the top two bones, called the atlas (C1) and axis (C2), have different shapes and structures. They also permit maximum movement to turn or tilt your head with great ease.
Sadly, the unique features of the topmost neck bones make them highly susceptible to vertebral subluxation. They can get dislodged from their original alignment with minimal force and cause mild to severe postural imbalance.
As a result, your head tends to tilt, one of your shoulders may be higher than the other, and your hips become imbalanced from left to right. This puts undue mechanical stress on the spine and aggravates herniated or bulging disc conditions.
Thankfully, with the help of upper cervical chiropractic adjustments, you can correct the postural problem and restore balance to your body. The technique can also help you heal naturally. Consult with our upper cervical chiropractor if you’ve been dealing with nagging back pain, sciatica, or disc issues. Dr. Sheppard will do her best to ease the pain triggered by your herniated or bulging disc and misaligned neck bones.
Give Precision Chiropractic a Call
Patients who complain about bulging or herniated discs can easily find the best option for Oklahoma City sciatica relief by calling us at 405-378-3100 or using our online contact form.
Our chiropractic doctor, Dr. Jennifer Sheppard, has almost 30 years of experience specializing in the upper cervical technique NUCCA. She has been helping thousands of patients who complain about debilitating back pain by addressing the misalignment, eliminating all the symptoms, and avoiding the recurrence for a pain-free life.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sheppard, call our Oklahoma City office at 405-378-3100. You can also click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.