Health Blog

Could Your Back Pain be Caused by a Herniated Disc?

herniated disc

Back pain can sneak up on you. You can be sitting on the sofa in front of the TV, get up for a snack, and all of a sudden feel a sharp pain radiating through your back when you stand up. Is it just regular-old back pain, or did something really go wrong? You just might have a herniated disc. The spine has 26 bones cushioned by discs made of a gel-like substance. This is what gives the spine flexibility. But when a disc slips out of place, it can cause back pain because it irritates the surrounding nerves. This condition is often referred to as a ruptured or herniated disc. If you’ve got back pain, it just may be a herniated disc. Be sure to give us a call for an evaluation by our physical therapist.

The Diagnosis of a Herniated Disc

One way you can determine if it’s a herniated disc is by where the pain is located. Often, pain may be in the lower part of your back or spread to the buttocks and through the calves. Sitting, sneezing, and coughing may flare up the symptoms, as these activities put pressure on the pinched nerves.

The best way to figure out if you have a herniated disc is to visit your physician. In addition to a physical exam, your doctor may order tests like x-rays, myelogram, CT scan, MRI, or electromyogram. With a myelogram, dye is injected into the spinal fluid, and an x-ray is taken to locate the pressure. A CT scan takes several pictures from different angles and creates images of the spinal cord and surrounding structures. An MRI provides detailed, 3D images of the spinal cord. It can also locate the position of a herniated disc and see what nerves are being affected. An electromyogram checks to see if any nerves are compressed or damaged. A needle electrode is placed into a muscle to determine what nerves are impinged upon.

Physical Therapy for Herniated Disc

A physical therapist can help improve the symptoms of a herniated disc. A treatment plan typically includes stretching exercises and strengthening exercises. The goal of physical therapy is to relieve back pain and help improve daily function. Other treatments may include massage therapy, ice and heat therapy, ultrasound, and electric muscle stimulation (EMS).

Massage therapy will not “cure” a herniated disc, but it can help alleviate pain. Massage therapists work around an affected area by massaging surrounding muscles and tissues. They also have tools to loosen tight muscles around a herniated disc. Massage therapy also increases blood flow and enhances the healing process.

EMS blocks the transmission of pain signals to the brain. It also promotes production and release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. Cold therapy may be used to reduce inflammation, and heat therapy may be used to reduce pain and stimulate healing.

It’s important to note that physical therapy by a physical therapist is a noninvasive and holistic approach to treating a herniated disc. If you’re suffering from a herniated disc, contact Orthopedic and Balance Therapy to schedule an appointment. Our physical therapists will help reduce your pain and get you on the road to recovery.

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Our Reviews
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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