The majority of spinal problems will emanate from complications with one's spinal discs. Spinal disc related ailments are usually quite complicated because medical professionals are rarely capable of coming to consensus about what brings about spinal disc related pain, creating a myriad of misunderstandings, especially with the various terms used to refer to what might be the same problem.
Spinal discs are fairly easy to identify. They are flat, round and are attached to the vertebrae, pliant so as to absorb external shocks effectively. Spinal discs are prone to injury, not only due to the various stresses they might encounter but the scourge of aging, eventually resulting in lower back pain, aching legs and various forms of numbness.
The term excruciating is an understatement in referring to the level of pain one can expect to experience when under the thumb of spinal disc problems, the process of treatment further complicated by the intricacies of locating a potential source of the problem at hand.
Many cases present the disc as the source of the ensuing pain, degenerative disc disease occurring when the disc begins to dry and lose its pliability and shock absorbent capabilities; this causes the inner section of the disc to shrink, reducing cushioning between the vertebrae, with the outer section of the disc then developing tears.
Usually resulting from aging, while everyone agrees that it is this occurrence thatelicits the intense pain, there is no consensus over the exact source of that pain.
A herniated disc is less controversial, an ailment that causes radicular pain (a sensation of pain travelling down a nerve in the spine) and occurs when what is known as the nucleus of the discs (the soft material within) leak out.
Pain is elicited when this soft material, which is quite inflammatory, touches the nerve root. One might also experience weakness, numbness and tingling, especially along the legs and arms, depending on whether the disc that herniates is in the lower part of the spine or in the cervical spine.
The key to acquiring proper medication depends on one's ability to determine the source of the pain, be it from within the disc or along the nerve root. Diagnosis is crucial to taking steps down the road to possible recovery.
It is never advisable to wait too long after encountering what you believe might be spinal problems to visit your family doctor. The earlier you acquire a diagnosis for your pain the sooner you can seek treatment. This is even more important with children, whose symptoms should be observed as early as possible and reported to a pediatrician.
Certainly it is possible to try and treat one's own symptoms, take steps to combat what might prove to be a fleeting ailment. You will however know when it is time to check yourself into an emergency room, especially when your legs begin drastically losing their strength and bowel functions become an issue.
Beyond simply proving an irritation in the arena of movement, spinal problems can become a threat to your life if not treated immediately.