Weightlifting Injuries: Herniated Discs

weightlifter herniated disc
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Weightlifters know back pain all too well. From belts to altered positions, to foam rolling, weightlifters need to constantly avoid and treat back aches and strains. Unfortunately, no method can guard your back and neck against injury 100% when you lift weights regularly. Because of this, the orthopedists and pain management specialists at New York Bone and Joint Specialists often diagnose even the most careful powerlifters with herniated discs.

 What is a herniated disc?

A herniated disc refers to one of the gel-like sacs that exist between each of our vertebrae slipping out of place or becoming inflamed and damaged. Sometimes patients have a herniated disc and hardly feel any symptoms. In other cases, a disc can irritate a spinal nerve or surrounding tissue, causing mild to severe chronic pain that can keep weightlifters from performing their best and make everyday life uncomfortable and painful. In some cases, the disc can compress a spinal nerve enough to cause numbness and tingling in the limbs.

 What causes a herniated disc?

Weightlifters commonly damage the discs in their spine simply by straining their backs. Lifting with your back muscles more than your leg muscles are a very common way to injure the back. Deadlifting is the most common exercise that leads to herniated discs.

 How can you treat a herniated disc?

There are many treatment options for a herniated disc. You can consult with a back and neck specialist, like Dr. Michael Y. Mihiritsky, to create a treatment plan that works for you. Dr. Mizhiritsky can perform an EMG to pinpoint the exact nerves that may be affected by a herniated disc in order to treat them most effectively.
Chronic pain from a herniated disc can often be handled with physical therapy. A therapist can manually relieve tension and other symptoms along the spine with massage and decompression. A physical therapist who specializes in sports medicine and orthopedic rehabilitation can guide you through specific exercises and stretches that will strengthen the necessary muscles to protect your injured spine. Along with this, they can help you create a routine and fix your alignment so you can get back to weightlifting without reaggravating your back.
Epidural steroid injections are also highly effective in relieving pain and inflammation for months in many cases. This can provide long lasting relief that allows patients to get the most out of their physical therapy routines.
Dr. Mizhiritsky also offers PRP Therapy to patients wo may benefit from the cutting edge treatment technology. In this process, platelets taken from a sample of a patient’s blood are reinjected directly into the injured disc to encourage regeneration and healing.
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