Our spine plays an important part in everyday activities such as leaning forward and turning our body from side to side. Between our spinal bones (vertebrae) are soft spinal discs filled with a jelly like substance which absorb shock when we are running, jumping, or lifting heavy objects. If you have back pain that is irritated by lifting, sitting, coughing/sneezing, and bending forward or feel weakness in your arms or legs accompanied by pins and needles you may have a ruptured disc.
Ruptured Disc Facts
- A ruptured disc is also referred to as herniated disc or bulging disc.
- A ruptured disc is more common as we age but can also occur as a result of injury (too much pressure on your spine).
- When the soft spinal discs that provide cushioning become damaged they move out of place or crack and leak. In some cases, this puts pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord which is when you feel pain.
- A ruptured or bulging disc can happen anywhere from your cervical spine (near your neck), to your thoracic spine (middle back), to your lumbar spine (lower back). The most common area for a ruptured disc is the lumbar spine.
- A ruptured disc causes pain (in the affected area of the spine) that is aggravated when you sit, bend, or lift items.
- A ruptured disc in the cervical spine can also cause symptoms in your shoulders, arms and chest.
- A ruptured disc in your lumbar spine can cause tingling, weakness and sciatic pain in your legs. It can also be felt in your buttocks, ankle and foot.
Ruptured Disc Cause & Treatment
Causes and risk factors to your spinal discs rupturing are as follows:
- Disc degeneration due to aging
- Injury to the spine (sudden heavy strain, increased pressure, or sports-related)
- Disc disease (especially in those aged 35 to 45) and as we age further
- Jobs that require heavy manual labor
- Driving a motor vehicle for long periods of time
- Poor lifting habits
- Prolonged exposure to heavy vibration
At Venture Rehabilitation Sciences Group our university trained physical therapists will perform clinical tests and get a history of your symptoms to help determine if you suffer from a ruptured disc. Relieving pain symptoms and preventing further injury is pivotal to recovery from a ruptured disc. Most patients see a marked improvement and recovery within 6 months of physiotherapy treatment. We tailor our treatment plans to your unique injury which can include but are not limited to:
- Encouraging the fluid to return to the centre of the disc
- Ice, heat and use of light, electrical and ultrasound therapy to reduce inflammation and pain symptoms
- Soft tissue massage
- Education on the best positions to stay in to avoid further injury
- Supportive Kinesiology taping or brace for your spine
- Retraining of your core for posture support
- Dry needling
- Exercise to restore muscle strength and endurance
- Restore alignment and improve range of motion
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With 30 years of experience, we can help improve your quality of life, get you symptom free and living your life to the fullest.