Herniated discs (also called slipped discs) is a condition in which the soft discs that act as a cushion between the body’s vertebrae (such as in the spine) slowly slip out of place, causing tremendous pain, weakness, or numbness. Herniated discs are common in the lumbar spine or the lower part of a person’s backbone.
In some cases, there is hardly any pain especially in the initial stages of the condition but it gradually leads to numbing and then searing pain when the discs have slipped way out of their original positions.
Fortunately, there are treatments available for people suffering from herniated discs, and among them is a procedure called ozone injection for a herniated disc. This treatment method involves using a combination of ozone and oxygen that is injected into the affected discs or just right outside. The doctor uses local anesthesia and the procedure could last for at least seven hours, including the post-injection resting period that the patient must undergo for best results.
But what exactly are the causes of a herniated disc? And more importantly, what are the different treatments available to those who suffer from it? Read on to know more.
Causes of herniated discs
A herniated disc is often caused by different factors, including the following:
- Old age. Sheer age can be a huge factor for the onset of herniated disc since the discs normally become less flexible and more prone to rupturing with the slightest movement.
- Weight gain. A person who weighs heavily is more prone to develop herniated disc since the excess weight causes undue stress to the discs, thereby leading to herniation or rupture.
- Slip and fall accident. Falling from a height or slipping into the floor could also cause a slipped disc.
- Manual labor. Lifting heavy weights is also another classic cause of herniated discs.
- Smoking. When you smoke, your body tends to send a lesser amount of oxygen to your discs which causes it to become more susceptible to herniation.
- Heredity/genetics. Some people are prone to slipped disc by virtue of their genes.
Treatments for herniated disc
Herniated or slipped discs are usually treated in three ways, such as:
- Surgery. In the worst cases of herniated discs, surgery is usually the last resort. In such a procedure, the doctor will remove the part of the disc that had slipped out of the vertebrae. This procedure is called an open discectomy and
- Injection. One of the newest means of addressing herniated disc problems is called ozone injection, in which the doctor injects a mixture of oxygen and ozone into the affected discs.
- Therapy. Physical therapy is yet another method of treatment for slipped discs. This may involve electrotherapy, ultrasound, bracing, and heat or ice treatment.
- Medication. In some cases, the doctor opts to use medication to treat a herniated disc. Medications for nerve pains and some types of narcotics are commonly prescribed. There are also epidural and cortisone injections available for such a case, while other doctors recommend muscle relaxants as a treatment.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to suffer in silence from your herniated disc problem. When you observe symptoms like pain or numbness in your lower back, thighs, calves, or neck, consult a doctor immediately. With this, you can be properly diagnosed for herniated disc and if found positive, be given the proper treatment to address the problem at once.