Cause: Most disc protrusions occur due to chronic poor posture and poor technique when lifting and bending.
Symptoms: Like many health problems, disc problems can present with a variety of symptoms depending upon the degree of damage. Initial symptoms may simply include lower back stiffness when getting out of bed or after sitting or forward bending for a prolonged period. This is often relieved by walking around for a few minutes and as a result is dismissed as muscle soreness or natural ageing. In later stages back pain may develop and spread to the buttock, hip, thigh, lower leg and foot. This may also be accompanied by numbness, weakness, tingling or shooting pain indicating nerve has become involved. Although rare, in serious cases, Cauda Equina Syndrome may develop, leading to altered bowel or bladder function, sexual dysfunction and abnormal sensation in the peroneal region. Cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency.
Treatment: The most effective and safest way to treat disc protrusions is with the McKenzie Method. Acupuncture can also play a role in reducing pain and eliminating associated muscle spasm. Disc problems are often aggravated by hands-on treatment such as massage and manipulation. Fortunately, surgery is rarely required and should be reserved for extreme cases. It’s very important to understand the anatomy of a disc if you have a disc problem because it helps you understand how certain postures and movements may be causing your disc further damage.
At Spine Smart we place great importance on teaching you what we know about back and neck pain and have helped countless patients in Melbourne understand and overcome there disc problems.