The long term process of disc degeneration

Problems with the lumbar discs are often difficult to diagnose and treat. Often many symptoms of the various causes of back pain overlap. Disc problems are frequently linked with events such as lifting, bending and sneezing. While a disc condition may be linked to one event that strains the back the actual process that causes the disc to fail can take years. Highly stressing a lumbar disc through lifting or other causes often may stress a slightly abnormal disc beyond its capability to recover and cause the process of disc herniation to accelerate.
One of the most troublesome effects of a disc problem is nerve impingement. When the disc herniates it may put pressure on the lumbar nerve roots. The actual moment in which the disc material impinges the nerve roots may happen suddenly even though the process was years in the making. Some of the events that may precipitate the nerve impingement are sneezing, lifting or straining at the stool.
Back pain is a common symptoms of a disc that is abnormal. Sciatica is the predominant symptom when the disc contacts the nerve. Sciatica is a key feature that helps a Chiropractors and other clinicians determine if an episode of sciatica is due to a disc condition or other factors. Many back conditions can be associated with leg pain but only nerve root irritation in the lumbar spine can produce pain along the distribution of the sciatic nerve.
Another key feature that is often overlooked with sciatica and nerve root irritation due to the disc is muscle tenderness. With acute attacks of nerve impingement the buttocks, thigh and calf can be very tender.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor and graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic. His Chiropractic practice focus is back pain, neck pain, whiplash and sciatica.

About drtom

I help people through chiropractic care and acupuncture.
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