Pain in the lower back is fairly common and affects millions nationwide. Some causes of back pain can be fairly innocuous such as bad posture, heavy straining or excessive physical activity, while others can be caused by more serious matters such as cancer in the spinal column area. However, most back, neck and leg pain and numbness amongst 30-50 year olds is caused by herniated discs.
Herniated discs, commonly referred to as ruptured or slipped discs, are inflamed spinal discs between spinal vertebra that place pressure on nerves causing mild to searing pain depending on the severity of the inflammation. Daily activities can lead to excessive compression forces which increase internal spinal disc pressure, leading to spinal disc protrusion, herniation and the bulging of disc material.
These discs are what make the spine flexible and able to bend. Inflamed nerves cause pain in the back, neck and lower legs either at rest or while bending.
The sciatic nerve is frequently affected by herniated discs and is the source of most back pain. The sciatic nerve is composed of several branches which wind down the spinal column and into both legs. Pinching the sciatic nerve can cause pain throughout the branches of the nerve, affecting the buttocks, back, neck and sometimes the foot or shin.
It’s best to consult your primary care physician for an accurate diagnosis concerning your back pain as there is a possibility your symptoms may be caused by something other than a herniated disc. If you are diagnosed with herniated discs there are several effective treatments patients can receive to find relief, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, chiropractic therapies, epidural steroid injections, medications or spinal surgery.
Spinal decompression is a non-surgical traction procedure that effectively targets lower back, leg, arm and neck pain. Decompression therapy utilizes traction and body positioning to put negative pressure on each disc, alleviating pressure and pain.
Non-surgical spinal decompression is a viable, safe treatment alternative that avoids the risks and potential complications inherent with surgery and medication based treatments. Surgery is typically only necessary for the most severe cases, with those situations requiring metal rods and screws to be drilled into vertebral segments.
Spinal decompression provides all the benefits that surgery does by non-invasively eliminating pain at its source without the excessive costs of surgical procedures or complications from prolonged use of medications. If you’re interested in finding out whether spinal decompression is a viable option for your situation, contact Dr. Kevin Mitchell for a consultation.