It can be very difficult to deal with the pain of an injured or herniated disc. If the disc doesn’t seem to heal, it can be very difficult to believe in its healing. You might be wondering if the disc can ever heal. Learn more about the prognosis and long-term effects of a herniated disc. Even though it is rare, untreated herniated spines can have severe long-term effects. They can lead to permanent nerve damage. You should seek treatment for herniated or bulging discs.
Can A Herniated Disc Cause Permanent Nerve Damage
Sometimes symptoms of a herniated spine are not apparent. It is possible for disc herniations to not press on a nerve. This is what causes herniated disc pain. Sometimes herniated discs that have no symptoms heal quickly. Sometimes symptoms develop later. This is an important point to keep in mind: if your back hurts, it could be a sign of something else.
A herniated disc is dangerous if it is not treated and allowed to press on the nerve. The nerves are only capable of withstanding stress for so long before they begin to suffer damage. Herniated discs need to be treated immediately in order to get the best results.
Long-Term effects of a Herniated Disc at the Back
Low back is where a herniated or bulging disc most often occurs. This area is also known as the lumbar spine. It tends to be overused. Disc herniation can be caused by poor posture, improper lifting, insufficient workspace ergonomics, injury, constant sitting, and poor posture.
A herniated disc can make it difficult for people to fall asleep . This is because the body needs to rest to heal. The long-term effects of a herniated disc in the back aren’t good. A herniated disc in your back can lead to chronic pain if it is not treated. Permanent nerve damage can result if the problem isn’t treated. Chronic pain is the most common outcome, but nerve damage should not to be ignored.
Patients with herniated discs in their backs that are not treated may have difficulty performing everyday tasks. In these cases, they might turn to dangerous opioids and other painkillers for help. This does not actually treat the disc. It just masks it.
The majority of herniated discs in the back can be treated without any surgery. Chiropractic care is a good option for treating herniated back discs. It is the best conservative option and should be considered before considering surgery.
Long-Term Effects of a Herniated Disc In the Neck
Long-term effects of a herniated neck disc are often the same as those associated with a disc in the back. But there are key differences that you should know. Chronic pain isn’t just a problem in the neck. Pain in the arms and shoulders can be caused by irritations of the nerves in the neck. It can also cause pain in the shoulders and arms that if left untreated can make it impossible to exercise without suffering debilitating symptoms.
If you have a herniated disc in your neck, it is important to get professional help as soon as possible. Chiropractic is best to treat most herniated discs throughout the spine.
Time for Herniated Disc Recovery
The recovery time for a herniated spine depends on many factors. These are:
- The severity of the herniation.
- The location of herniation.
- Any other causes that could have contributed to the herniation.
- The overall health of the patient.
- The lifestyle and demands of the patient.
- The preferred method of treatment.
For some, the pain is gone within days. Others may need to wait several months before the herniation and associated symptoms completely disappear. Most people find that it takes around a month for their normal life to return to normal. If you follow the proper protocols, the average recovery time is between four and six weeks.
Recovery Options for Herniated Discs
As stated above, it is important to exhaust all possible options before considering surgery. The main concern with a herniated spine is pain management. The success rate of chiropractic treatment for herniated discs has been high. Chiropractic care focuses on pain management and treating the root cause of disc herniation.
Chiropractic Care for Herniated Disc
After reviewing your medical history, chiropractors examine the spine and decide if you are a candidate for chiropractic treatment. Most herniated discs are treated with a combination of manual therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and physical therapy exercises.
The goal is to relieve pain and treat the source of the herniation. Chiropractors often use flexion distraction to do this. This can be done by using a special machine that lengthens and relieves pressure on the disc and nerve.
Chiropractic care can relieve pain by using massage, hot and cold therapies, and even suggesting exercises to increase endorphins. They can also help correct poor posture and lifestyle habits that may have contributed towards the herniated disc.
What to do if your herniated disc continues to hurt after one year?
The problem with a herniated disc is that it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly when the pain will return. However, if you are still experiencing pain after one year and have not sought treatment, it is time for a professional.
You should see a physician if you have persistent pain for more than six weeks. Allowing the pain to continue for over a year is dangerous. There are non-surgical options that can be used even after you’ve suffered with intermittent herniated disc pain for over a year.
A chiropractor should be consulted if you still feel pain after a year. Sometimes the pain you think is from a herniated disc is something entirely. Chiropractic patients may notice improvements within as little as two sessions.
What Happens if a Herniated Disc is Left Untreated?
Many people have back pain and hope it will go away. Or, they try home remedies to temporarily relieve the pain but then it starts again. While back pain may be an indication of something benign, such as being in an uncomfortable position for a prolonged time, it could also indicate something more serious.
Sometimes back pain is a sign that you’re allowing a serious condition like a herniated spine to go untreated. There are still options available for disc herniations that have not been treated. These are some signs you might want to see a spine specialist for treatment.
Sometimes a herniated disc from a sudden injury can be considered a hidden condition because it might take your body a while to feel the pain. You might expect a sore lower back to disappear after a quick impact or jolting from the body in a collision. A spine specialist should be consulted if the pain persists, particularly if it is located in a particular area of your spine.
The sponge-like cushion between the vertebrae that divides a herniated disc can become loose and could cause bone to rub against bone. Because the discs don’t align with the vertebrae it is supposed to protect, pain can result from many movements. The disc is no longer able to absorb shock.
New Areas of Pain
You may find that your back pain is a symptom or a result of a herniated spine. The pain may then radiate to other areas after a few days. A herniated disc may be pressing against a nerve causing a tingling, or numbing sensation at one of your extremities. The affected muscles might also feel weak or fatigued. The lower back is a common area for herniated discs. If untreated, they can affect the nerve signals and muscles to the legs, feet, and lower body.
If your back has been hurting for several weeks, or even months, it could be a result of an untreated injury such as a herniated spine. You may notice more severe side effects than the pain, and complications can develop if the injury is not treated. A herniated disc can cause acute pain, which can lead to chronic pain. Chronic pain can become a second condition and require treatment.
Soft Tissue Damage
Because the disc itself is soft tissue, herniated discs can result in soft tissue injuries. If the disc becomes loose, a spine specialist will be able to realign it. In the event of a disc rupture, however, the disc cannot regenerate itself and is considered to have damaged soft tissues. The severity of the injury may dictate that a herniated disc will need to be surgically treated in order to restore normal function.
Nerve damage can also be caused by a herniated spine. The nervous system communicates with the rest of the body via a complex network of nerves. Nerve damage can result from damage to the spine or connective tissue. If a herniated disc puts pressure on a nerve it can cause severe damage, cutting off nerve impulses.
A compressed nerve can cause significant problems, such as loss or control of the bowel and sensation in the lower extremities. A herniated disc can be treated quickly by a spine specialist. Your doctor will first want to see the affected area using a variety of diagnostic imaging tools, such as CT scans and X-rays. An Xray will allow your spine specialist to better understand any spinal damage. A CT scan will also identify soft tissue damage.
A spine specialist should be contacted immediately if your back pain has begun to radiate into your lower body, legs, and feet or out into your shoulders, arms and hands. Your doctor may choose to start with more conservative treatments depending on the extent and location of your herniated disc. These can include at-home treatment or gentle treatment from a chiropractor, spine specialist, physical therapist, and/or chiropractor. AICA Orthopedics will help you to identify the source of your back pain.