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What Is A Herniated Disc - Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

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today we have another video from dr.

David Oliver where he's gonna be talking

to you all about herniated disks the

causes of herniated and bulging discs as

well as the symptoms you will feel if

you have them as well as some of the

treatment options you can explore on

your own to treat them from your home so

when we talk about a herniated disc we

have to look at the actual structure

that's involved here so we're talking

about the intervertebral disc which is

the disc that separates the two bones in

the spine so if we look at a model of

the spine you know we had the different

sections of the spine we have our

cervical spine which is our neck we have

our thoracic spine which is our mid-back

and then we have our lumbar spine which

is our low back so we're focused right

now on this low back this lumbar spine

and if we look at the spine itself we

have the bones we have a vertebrae here

which is this white one and another one

below it in between that we have this

tan color material that's called your

intervertebral disc and the way to think

about an intervertebral disc is it's

like a big jelly doughnut so the outside

semi-firm and inside is a jelly like

material if we get enough damage to that

outer ring of that disc that jelly like

material can start to squirt its way out

this is not good because it's not that

jelly like material is not designed to

be in those areas this can cause the

symptoms of a herniated disc

unfortunately a herniated discs are very

common and society at it nowadays and

there's a variety of reasons for that

the number one way to irritate a disk is

flexion so basically flexion if I were

to flex forward this is flexion so if

we're to take the spine model again and

demonstrate that if you were to look at

the spine from the side and you took

looked at this lower back and you flexed

it forward essentially this front area

of the spine you're compressing which

pushes all the material backwards if you

get enough compression and enough load

it's actually going to cause a bulge or

a herniation at this back side of the

disc so repeated flexion we find to be

the most problematic for these spines

the most common time you're you're

flexing that spine is what you're doing

right now sitting sitting is flexion

every time we sit down

we flex our lower spine a little bit

studies have actually shown just sitting

even with great posture will increase

the pressure in that disc 50% you sit

with poor posture you can increase it up

over a hundred percent of what it

normally is repeated flexion repeated

sitting is gonna weaken that disk over

time which is gonna cause a disc bulge

can cause a herniation the most common

symptoms we find with a herniated disc

or a bulge discs are localized pain so

we could just find pain that is just

centered over the low back that can be a

symptom of a bulged disc if that disc is

starting to impinge or irritate a nerve

root we can have symptoms that travel

away from the spine the discs or the

nerves that innervate our lower back so

for a look at the spine again and we're

a look at these yellow nerves these

nerves exit the spine and travel down

our lake they control the muscle

activity to control the sensations of

our lower lower limbs if they start to

get irritated you're gonna start to feel

symptoms down here it can start out with

a general numbness and tingling can

progress to burning pain radiating pain

sharp pain electric like pain is a

variety of nerve like symptoms that can

develop if you get enough irritation to

a nerve root you can actually start to

develop weakness in those lower

extremities if we see muscle weakness we

become more concerned about this

condition and it's something that needs

to be addressed immediately so as

symptoms are herniated discs can be

anything from just general localized

pain in your back it can be a radiating

type of pain which can be either

numbness tingling burning electric like

symptoms that travel away from the spine

these can go down your leg they can go

to your knee then go to the back side of

your leg the front side then go all the

way to your toes these are what we call

radiating symptoms because of

impingement of a nerve root so we talked

about sitting equaling flexion I want to

go into this a little more detail

because some people don't really

understand why that is basically when

you sit down this lower back portion

here you have a little bit of a curve or

you should anyway but most people don't

hardly anybody sits down at their

computer at their table and sits there

like this most people the most common

thing is actually to flatten their low

back out a little and push it against

the back of the chair

that's essentially taking those lower

vertebrae and flexing them forward most

people will sit there at their computers

and type away and again we have that

head moving forward and we're just in

this rounded position so a way to

visualize that is vom sitting here with

good curved posture this is good

we're not flexing forward as much but as

soon as I round out my lower back and

sit down that's what happens so we're

flexing those lower vertebrae

putting more pressure through these

lower discs which eventually is gonna

cause weakness

most people are sitting 8 to 12 hours a

day every day you do that enough you're

gonna weaken those discs and eventually

you'll have a problem so four treatments

of a hernia disks there's a variety of

things you can try to do yourself at

home to alleviate some of that

irritation and that that inflammation

that's occurring at that disc level so

the easiest one to do is avoid the

activities that are irritating

so that means avoiding as much sitting

as possible this is hard for some people

because of work but you need to take

breaks at least get up every 20 to 30

minutes at least for a minute to walk

around the other thing you could do is

ice you know ice is a great way to

decrease inflammation you do not want to

put heat on the low back when it's an

inflamed state like this you can

actually make the symptoms worse I can't

tell you how many times I have had

people come in my office and they tell

me I I fell asleep on a heating pack

last night and I couldn't move this

morning well there's a reason for that

they the heat increase the inflammation

in their low back which cause more

pressure on the nerve more pressure at

the disc level which cause more symptoms

so icing for 20 minutes on and at least

40 minutes off repeating that throughout

the day the first several days of the

injury can go a long way of reducing

that inflammation so you want to ice you

want to reduce the activities that are

stressing those discs when you're

resting instead of sitting what you

should do is lay down with your feet up

on an object either a chair or you can

put pillows under your knees to take

some pressure off anytime your knees are

flexed up you're gonna take pressure off

your low back so when you're sleeping at

night if you sleep on your back try

putting tolls under your knees take some

pressure off if you're sleeping on your

side try actually putting a pillow

between your knees and that'll take

pressure off your low back as well the

most common time for people that have

pain and an irritation is actually in

the morning time because that disc

swells overnight it's very common to see

that you're gonna be very careful in the

morning time getting out of bed so you

don't irritate it so no flexion at all

the first couple hours that you get up

you want to walk around and try and just

get things moving gently you want to

avoid anything that causes pain is the

general rule there are a variety of

exercises you can do to help with the

pain so one of the best ones and one of

the ones I always give patients

initially when they come in with this is

the cat cow it's a simple basic exercise

that we can utilize to eliminate some of

the irritation

eliminate some of that bulging that's

going on it's very good for most people

I did an extensive video on the cat cow

exercise that how to do it properly and

the things to avoid so you could check

it out at back Authority calm there are

also many other exercises you could do

to try to eliminate some of that

irritation and that stress on the the

nerve or the disc level so it's

important to try to look into these and

only do exercises that feel good if

you're doing an exercise and it's

increasing your symptoms are causing

more discomfort it's not a good exercise

when it comes to low backs the the rule

is not no pain no gain if you're feeling

pain you should avoid that activity and

if none of these modifications whether

it's the ice or the the activity

limitations avoiding flexion or doing

your cat cow if that's not helping to

alleviate your symptoms is important use

you see professional help alright we

hope you enjoyed this video and if you

did please like it and share it with a

friend also if you'd like to get a PDF

of specific exercises to relieve

herniated discs as well as low back pain

we can send you that PDF right away

there's gonna be a link to that

somewhere here on the video or there's

gonna be a link in the description below

to get that PDF also make sure to check

out our website back intelligence comm

for more back pain tips

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