Back pain is one of the most prevalent chronic health conditions in Canada. Research indicates that four in five adults will experience at least one episode of back pain throughout their lifetime. However, as you get older, the likelihood of experiencing back pain increases. Although back pain can vary in severity, patients often experience symptoms such as discomfort, weakness, and tingling in the upper and lower extremities, especially if they are experiencing disc herniation. Fortunately, a herniated disc is treatable. In many scenarios, your general practitioner will refer you to physiotherapy as a portion of your overall treatment plan.
At True Life Physiotherapy & Wellness, our physiotherapists have extensive experience working with patients experiencing disc herniation. Our team is committed to providing patients with the highest quality of care so that they can recover from their back injuries in a safe and encouraging atmosphere. True Life Physiotherapy & Wellness provides care plans that are tailored to each patient’s specific requirements and goals.
If you’re experiencing disc herniation, book a consultation appointment with a member of our leading physiotherapy team to begin your journey back to a healthier and pain-free lifestyle.
What’s the cause of a herniated disc?
Spinal discs are tiny, pliable structures that exist between your vertebrae. The primary functions of these structures are to optimize spine mobility and absorb shock as your body moves throughout the day. While each disc’s exterior is tough, they form a gel-like structure on their interior. A disc herniation takes place when the fibrous outer layer ruptures. This enables the internal gel compound to escape. When a disc ruptures, it can cause an immune response that causes inflammation which then compresses the nearby structures, which include your joint receptor sites and spinal cord nerves.
While not all herniated discs cause pain, depending on the severity of the injury, common symptoms patients experience include the following:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Pain between the shoulder blades
- Stiffness throughout the body, especially in the lower back and hip area
- Muscle spasms
- Numbness and tingling in the arms and legs
- A loss of mobility, including the inability to bend or turn your neck from side to side
Why do herniated discs develop?
When your spinal disc is compromised and ruptures, the smooth gel, also known as a nucleus, leaks into the surrounding area. As a direct consequence, your body’s immune response will cause inflammation to occur. While a herniated disc can happen to anyone, patients may be more prone to experiencing this form of injury given the following risk factors:
- Working in a physically demanding line of employment
- Having to bend, twist, or lift heavy objects on a regular basis
- You are between the ages of 30 and 50
- If you are overweight, excess body weight can cause stress on your vertebrate, especially around the lower back area.
- Smoking is said to decrease oxygen levels in your discs, causing premature wear and tear.
- You have suffered from acute trauma such as a fall or a car accident
- You do not move as much throughout the day as you work in a sedentary employment position.
- Some genetics can make individuals more likely to experience herniated discs throughout their lifetime.
As such, to prevent disc herniation, patients are encouraged to maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, exercise regularly, and maintain an aligned posture for as long as possible during the day.
How can physiotherapy help a herniated disc?
Physiotherapy can be highly beneficial in alleviating herniated disc discomfort and other symptoms associated with this type of injury. While all patients are different, standard treatments your physiotherapist may choose to perform include deep tissue massages, hydrotherapy, light exercises, and temperature therapies.
During an initial consultation with a physiotherapist, patients will undergo a preliminary evaluation that will serve as a starting point in their recovery. The purpose of this assessment is to determine your current symptoms, level of pain and discomfort, and whether you have any mobility issues. Once this is recorded, your physiotherapist will create a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs as a patient. Throughout the course of your treatment, your physiotherapist will conduct regular assessments to track your progress. As such, adjustments may be made at any time to meet your specific needs.
When to see a physiotherapist for herniated disc treatment?
With any injury, early intervention is key to ensuring patients are able to recover fully in a timely manner. However, patients are able to begin treatment at any time during their recovery. If you are unsure whether physiotherapy is ideal for you, we encourage patients to speak with their family physician for more information. At the same time, if you suffer from prolonged back pain, you may find it difficult to know whether you have a herniated disc.
As such, if you begin to experience tingling throughout your legs and arms, sharp pains in your buttocks, weakness throughout the body, and a noticeable hindrance in your daily mobility, we recommend reaching out to a medical professional as soon as possible. In addition, if your symptoms worsen over time, this can also indicate that there is something wrong with your back that goes beyond day to day discomfort that you may experience.
Are you experiencing a herniated disc? If so, the True Life Physiotherapy and Wellness specialist physiotherapy team is here to assist you. With combined years of professional experience, our physiotherapists have the expertise and abilities to provide patients with the highest-quality care. When you work with our team, you can be confident that your health and well-being are in safe hands. True Life Physiotherapy and Wellness continues to strive to provide cutting-edge treatments in an inviting, pleasant setting for all and can assist you in getting back to living your life pain-free.
Call True Life Physiotherapy and Wellness today to schedule your initial consultation with one of our friendly staff members.
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Have you been suffering from what you believe is sciatica pain? If this is the case, the True Life Physiotherapy & Wellness professional physiotherapy team are available to assist you. Our physiotherapists have many years of working experience and are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to provide patients with the best possible care. You can be self-assured that your well-being and physical health are in good hands when you partner with True Life. True Life Physiotherapy and Wellness remains committed to providing quality treatments and therapies in a welcoming, comfortable environment for all patients and can assist you in returning to your normal activities pain-free.
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