How to treat spinal disc herniations?

Spinal disc herniations come without warning! For example, a spinal disc herniation may occur while doing the simplest activities…

Summer is coming and you have decided to start some renovations. For a week, you have gone through the various steps that will allow you to have a beautiful modern kitchen. As you return from your favorite renovation center, you start to feel a sharp pain in the lower back when moving plaster containers. The pain is so intense that it forces you to stop working for the rest of the day.

A few days after the injury, the pain is still present and the intensity has decreased slightly. You may have had a herniated disc. What should you do? All tips are here!

What is a spinal disc herniation?

The spine is made of several vertebrae. Between each vertebra, there is a disc that acts as a cushion and that dampens the weight that applies to the spine. This disc is composed of water and looks like a small bag filled with gel.

The condition can be caused by prolonged bad postures, repeated movements performed with bad ergonomics or false movements for example. The condition can be caused by prolonged bad postures, repeated movements performed with bad ergonomics or false movements for example. Herniated discs are usually foundin the lower back to the lumbar region.

It is important to note that disc degeneration, or disc wear, affects a large percentage of the population, but that is not synonymous with pain. In other words, many people have injuries to the discs in their spine and do not know it because they do not experience any pain and are able to perform their work and their activities. In other words, many people have injuries to the discs in their spine and do not know it because they do not experience any pain and are able to perform their work and their activities.

When should you consult?

Spinal disc herniation is diagnosed using imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging. However, a doctor or your physiotherapist may suspect a herniation and advise you on whether imaging tests are necessary. It is especially important to seek help if your back pain persists for more than a week, if you have ad trauma or if the pain wakes you up at night. If you experience weakness or numbness, it is important to see your doctor.

What are the symptoms?

Spinal disc herniations cause various symptoms that can be treated by your physiotherapist. Pain is the most common symptom, and may radiate to the buttock or leg. Patients also often experience stiffness, muscle tension and increased fatigue in the lower back. In fact, tasks that require lower back effort are often very painful. It may also be difficult to maintain the same position and the pain might wake you up at night.

Tips and treatment

If you are suffering from very severe pain, it is recommended to rest your back by avoiding significant effort. Your doctor and pharmacist will help you get the most appropriate medication for your condition.

A follow-up in physiotherapy and occupational therapy will help you relieve the pain effectively. It will also help you get back to work faster.

You can begin your physiotherapy treatments even if the pain is severe. Gentle stretching exercises along with electrotherapy treatment will help relieve pain. Later on, core strengthening and posture exercises will promote healing. Learning better work methods will help prevent recurrence. During the course of the treatment, your physiotherapist may use different treatment approaches including soft tissue and muscle relaxation techniques, manual therapy, traction and mobilization to help you regain mobility and relieve symptoms.

Do not hesitate to consult your physiotherapist if you think you have a spinal disc herniation. It’s not too late and it will help you get back to work faster.

If you have no pain but want to prevent an injury, do not hesitate to contact us. We will help you adopt good posture and work habits and help you maintain an active and balanced lifestyle.

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Vincent has a master’s degree in  physiotherapy  from the University of Montreal.  Vincent brings his knowledge of skiing as an instructor for the Quebec Foundation for the Blind since 2014. He also works as a lifeguard for Patro le Prévost, one of the oldest non-profit organizations in Quebec.

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