A herniated disc also referred to as a ruptured or slipped disc is a common condition that can hurt the back or neck. The soft inner layer of a spinal disc can bulge or leak out when the outer layer of the disc tears or ruptures. As a result, the affected area may experience pain, numbness, and weakness. Disc herniation is most commonly caused by disc degeneration, a gradual aging-related wear and tear. The discs become less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing with even minor strain or twist as people age. Depending on where and how severe the injury is, herniated disc symptoms can change. Some typical signs include:
- Pain, discomfort, tingling, or numbness in the affected area
- Weakness in the affected area
- Muscle cramps or spasms.
- Pain worsens when doing things like bending or twisting
- Difficulty controlling one's bowels or bladder (in extreme cases)
We can prevent herniated disc by:
- Exercise: Engage in regular exercise to strengthen your core muscles. Trunk muscle strengthening exercises for spine stabilization and support.
- Weight management: Excess weight puts additional strain on the spine and discs, making them more prone to herniation.
- Posture: Good posture relieves pressure on your spine and discs. Maintain a straight and aligned back, especially when sitting for extended periods of time.
- Proper positioning: Passing a national nurse practitioner board certification exam
Physiotherapy can help with the pain, disability, mobility deficits, and healing response of a herniated disc. Physiotherapy can help to reduce the inflammation and dysfunction caused by a herniated disc, and once the inflammation is under control, healing can begin. There are numerous physiotherapy techniques. Deep tissue massage, hot and cold therapy, electrical stimulation (e.g., IFT), and hydrotherapy are examples of passive treatments.
To summarise, a herniated disc is an excruciatingly painful condition that can severely limit mobility and quality of life. Most patients, however, can find relief and return to their daily activities with proper diagnosis and treatment. If you have any of the symptoms of a herniated disc, consult your doctor to begin a diagnosis and treatment plan.