Lumbar disc herniations are a prevalent health issue affecting millions worldwide. Unfortunately, the fear and misunderstanding surrounding these conditions often lead people to catastrophize their symptoms, causing unnecessary stress and anxiety.
However, it is important to note that although they are common, they are still not normal.
In this blog post, we aim to shed light on lumbar disc herniations, providing insight into their nature, treatment, and the importance of addressing the root cause rather than merely treating the symptoms. We will also demonstrate some helpful stretches for the lumbar spine and associated pelvic region that may help decrease symptoms or flare ups.
Please Read: it is of utmost importance to understand that disc herniation presentations vary massively from person to person, and for this reason, these stretches should not be taken as gospel, nor should they replace the need to seek assistance from a registered healthcare professional for a personalised approach.
What is a lumbar disc herniation?
The spine consists of several vertebrae stacked upon one another, with soft discs acting as cushions between them. These discs have a tough outer layer called the annulus fibrosus and a gel-like centre known as the nucleus pulposus. Lumbar disc herniations occur when a portion of the nucleus pulposus pushes through a weakened or torn area of the annulus fibrosus. This bulging or rupture of the disc can result in nerve compression, leading to pain, tingling, and weakness in the lower back and legs.
Breaking the Taboo
Despite their prevalence, lumbar disc herniations often suffer from a veil of taboo. Many people view these conditions as debilitating and believe they will lead to a lifetime of pain and immobility. This misconception can trigger unnecessary anxiety and fear in those diagnosed with a herniated disc, potentially exacerbating their symptoms due to stress-related responses. It is crucial to dispel these taboos and provide individuals with accurate information about their condition as well as an a effective treatment and management plan moving forwards.
Treating Lumbar Disc Herniations
The treatment approach for lumbar disc herniations primarily depends on the severity of symptoms and the extent of nerve compression, if there is any nerve compression at all. Fortunately, the majority of herniated discs can be managed conservatively with non-surgical treatments that may include rest and load modification, manual therapy, decreasing inflammation and cortisone injections just to name a few. In severe cases, when conservative measures fail to improve symptoms and quality of life, referral to a orthopaedic surgeon for a second option may be necessary.
Addressing the Root Cause
While symptom management is crucial, it is equally important to identify and address the underlying reasons behind the disc herniation. Common factors contributing to herniated discs include poor posture and movement mechanics, improper lifting techniques, excessive body weight, and repetitive movements. By working with healthcare professionals, individuals can learn how to modify their daily activities, incorporate proper biomechanics, and implement lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of recurrence.
By addressing the issue with accurate information and appropriate treatments, individuals can find hope in managing their symptoms effectively. Remember, focusing on the root cause, staying active, and implementing preventive measures will contribute to a healthier and more mobile lumbar spine, promoting better long-term well-being.
Motus Life has extensive expertise in handling both acute and chronic disc herniations. They adeptly customise treatments to meet your unique requirements and goals.
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