According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 80 percent of people experience low back pain at some point in their life. Low back pain is one of the most common reasons that our patients at Petett Chiropractic seek chiropractic care. Furthermore, one of the most common causes of low back pain is a herniated disc.
So what exactly is a herniated disc? The bones that stack up to form the spine (vertebrae) are cushioned by a round and flat disc. The discs act like shock absorbers to cushion the bones from impact. A herniated disc, also known as budged or slip disc, occurs when the disc moves out of the capsule that contains it and into the spinal canal.
There are many possible causes of a herniated disc. You might develop a herniated disk from suddenly twisting your spine or improperly lifting a heavy object. Other possible causes are being overweight or age-related wear and tear, known as disc degeneration. The symptoms of a herniated disc vary depending on the size and the positioning of the disc. For some people, a herniated disc may cause little to no pain at all. On the other hand, others may experience weakness, pain, and numbness in certain areas in which the nerves travel. A herniated disc can cause years of low back pain if left untreated.
The best way to prevent a herniated disc is through routine chiropractic care and exercise. Low-impact aerobic exercise, such as jogging, biking, or swimming, can be beneficial for both preventing and rehabilitating a herniated disc. Aerobic exercise increases the flow of blood and nutrients to back structures to support healing and can also decrease the stiffness in the back and joints, allowing for more flexible movement. After 30-40 minutes of aerobic exercise, your body will naturally increase production of endorphins that act as a natural painkiller to help combat pain.
Strengthening your back through weightlifting exercises, such as deadlifts and squats, will help to keep your discs in place. Proper technique and form is incredibly important, or else you will do more harm than good for your body. To safely strength your low back, increase your weight slowly and be consistent. Stretching is also essential to improve muscle flexibility and help strengthen them as well. Be sure to stretch generously before and after every aerobic exercise or strength training routine.
Combined with regular strength training and aerobic exercise, routine chiropractic adjustments can help strength and stabilize your low back muscles and prevent further pain or injury. Our dedicated chiropractors at Petett Chiropractic are experienced and knowledgable with sports-related injuries and can help you figure out a healthy regime to maintain optimum health. Contact our Renton office to schedule your next chiropractic visit this summer.