What are the causes and symptoms of disc herniation?

  • A disc herniation can put pressure and irritate the nearby nerves that originate from the
    spinal cord and exit the spine
  • Symptoms can include neck pain or low back pain with pain referring down the arm or leg
    (depending on the location of the disc herniation), numbness, tingling, and weakness
  • The most common cause of disc herniation is the gradual wear and tear of the discs due to aging
  • One of the more common causes of traumatic disc herniation is improper lifting of heavy
    weights especially when combined with twisting and turning
  • Stand close to the load to be lifted

  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart

  • Bend your knees and keep your back straight

  • Squat down to the level of the object and test the weight of the load

  • Ask for help if the load is too heavy or awkward

  • Use the strength of your leg and arm muscles (not your back) to smoothly and slowly lift the load. Try not to jerk when lifting

  • Keep the load close to your body

  • Never twist your body while turning and carrying the load

  • Pivot to turn in the direction you want to move toward

  • Bend your knees and slowly lower the load to its new location

(Information courtesy of Canadian Chiropractic Association)

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