Common Causes of Disc Injury in Sun Prairie, WI
Repetitive Motion or Stress
When it comes to disc injury, we often hear a patient say something like “I wasn’t doing anything when it happened. I was just putting on my shoes”. It rarely is the incident that caused your disc injury as much as it is the repetitive trauma over time. You’ve put your shoes on thousands of times with no issues but that one moment in time is when your body couldn’t handle any further stress.
This concept applies to manual labor jobs that require lots of bending, lifting, and twisting. Putting the spine into flexion and rotation at the same time is commonly how disc injuries occur. If you do this type of work for a living, it’s important to be conscious of your posture and how you move during work. It’s also important to have regular chiropractic adjustments to prevent further injury.
There is no doubt that exercise and weight resistance training, in general, are beneficial to your health. The physical and mental health benefits are far-reaching. However, heavy lifting such as squats and deadlifts place a significant amount of stress on the body. During these movements, the discs between the spine are loaded with more weight than usual which creates extra stress on the spine. If one of the discs is already weak, there is a greater chance that it will bulge.
Heavy lifting doesn’t just occur at the gym. In fact, a lot of injuries occur from normal activities such as moving furniture or as part of your occupation.
This is not to say that you should avoid lifting altogether. The doctors at Noble Choice Chiropractic are physically active and agree that weight lifting is crucial to your health. Always use proper technique when lifting and try to use your legs as much as possible to avoid extra stress on the low back.
When most people hear about a disc injury they automatically think of the low back. Although less common, disc injury can occur anywhere throughout the spine. For example, auto accidents are a frequent cause of disc injury in the neck. This occurs from whiplash, or when the head flexes forward and backward rapidly from impact. This violent movement can push the disc backward toward the nerve roots, causing pain.
Noble Choice Chiropractic can provide the care you need after your accident to get you back to pre-accident status. We work with insurance companies, other providers and attorneys to ensure the process is smooth and stress-free for you.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is an age-related condition where the discs between vertebrae break down. Unlike the other causes of disc injury already mentioned, DDD is a process that occurs over time. When the discs begin to thin, the hole between two vertebrae where the nerve comes out gets smaller and smaller. When this happens, pressure is put on the nerves which causes symptoms such as pain in the spine or radiating down the legs or arms. Besides age, other risk factors include obesity, smoking, and work that is hard on the spine.
Unfortunately, Degenerative Disc Disease cannot be reversed. But, its progression can be slowed down and it can be managed. The key to progression prevention is to keep the spine moving with chiropractic adjustments and exercise.
As unusual as it might seem, any respiratory illness that involves a significant amount of coughing or sneezing may be problematic for the spine. This is because these two actions create a sharp increase in intra-abdominal pressure. An increase in intra-abdominal pressure leads to increased pressure on the discs. Just like any disc injury, if there is a pre-existing weakness in the disc it is more apt to bulge with prolonged coughing or sneezing. Chiropractic adjustments, especially to the thoracic (mid-back) spine can help alleviate this extra pressure on the spine.
*Fun fact: Dr. Steph’s dad actually did herniate a disc in his low back from coughing so it can happen to anyone!
Frequently Asked Questions About Disc Injury
Can a chiropractor in Sun Prairie, WI help with disc problems?
Yes! We take care of people with disc issues every day. Our combination of chiropractic adjustments and exercises gives us a great track record with the alleviation of disc injury symptoms.
How long does it take for a disc injury to heal?
Healing a disc injury greatly varies between people. This depends on the extent of the damage, the age of the person, and other health factors. As a general rule, the longer you’ve had the issue, the longer it takes to heal. Your chiropractor will discuss recommendations and a plan for you to feel better faster.
Is it safe to go to a chiropractor with a herniated disc?
A chiropractor is one of the first places you should go if you have a disc injury. This is because we are trained to detect which vertebrae may be attributed to the disc bulge without invasive or expensive treatments.
What does a slipped disc feel like?
Besides pain, common symptoms of a disc injury include radiating, sharp nerve pain down the arms or legs. Some people may also notice numbness in a particular area of their extremities or some muscular weakness in the hands or feet.
Can a chiropractor in Sun Prairie, WI make things worse?
Here’s the great thing about chiropractic: it’s so non-invasive that you can’t really feel any worse. The worst-case scenario is that you don’t have any changes at all. Most people do respond well to chiropractic adjustments for disc injuries but there are some special cases that require more intervention.