Lumbar disc injuries in
Ascot Vale and Moonee Ponds
What do discs do?
Discs (or intervertebral discs) sit between two bones (or vertebrae) of the spine. They provide cushioning for the vertebrae and decrease the amount of pressure that is put on the spine. They are also there to allow some movement of the spine.
Sometimes the discs can tear, which may lead to the disc getting inflamed and putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerves that exit between joints. This can be quite painful and often referred to as a bulging or slipped disc.
There are many different names give to lumbar disc injuries including bulging discs, slipped discs, protruding disc or herniated discs. Very often these terms can be used incorrectly and can be referring to the wrong thing.
How do you tear a spinal disc?
Many different actions may damage a disc. Things like bending forward to lift heavy things or twisting may tear a disc. Sometimes picking something off the ground or lifting a light object is all it takes to do damage.
Symptoms of lumbar disc injuries
Non-specific pain around the centre of the lower back (unable to pinpoint a specific point of pain across the lower back)
Disc pain is usually associated with bending forward and/or a twisting movement as its mechanism of injury
Pain will often be central initially, and will then spread to either side of the low back
Tightness and stiffness will increases following the initial injury
Pain is often worsened when getting up from a seated position or standing for a prolonged period of time
A disc injury may hurt when sitting for prolonged periods of time (sacroiliac joints usually don’t)
Disc pain may be accompanied by sciatic pain (pain down the back of the leg)
Pain may be aggravated by coughing or sneezing.
This information is a guide only. Different types of low back pain can show different findings. If you experience any of these symptoms, please see your nearest healthcare practitioner.
Treatment options for lumbar disc injuries
Before deciding what type of treatment is best for you, various tests are carried out to confirm that the issue is in fact a disc tear.
Sacroiliac joint sprains, facet joint sprains, and muscle strains and sprains will often give you similar symptoms.
Most discs will respond with treatment strategies that aim at reducing inflammation at the disc and improving biomechanics of the joints around the disc.
Some forms of treatment may include traction of the nerve roots to create space for releasing tight muscles around, providing rehabilitative guidance to protect and heal the joints surrounding the disc.
In severe cases of disc injury, surgery may be warranted. It’s best to chat to a chiropractor, physiotherapist, osteopath or GP before deciding on the best treatment for you.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any further advice. If you're experiencing a lumbar disc injury and live in Ascot Vale, Moonee Ponds or a nearby suburb in Melbourne, make an appointment today.
Chiropractic research for disc bulge treatment:
"A large percentage of acute and chronic lumbar disc bulge patients that utilise Chiropractic care demonstrated significant clinical improvements, with no further adverse events" (Leeman, S (2014) Outcomes of acute and chronic patients with magnetic resonance imaging – confirmed symptomatic lumbar disc herniations receiving high-velocity, low amplitude spinal manipulative therapy: A prospective observational cohort study with one year follow up. Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics, 37(3); 155 – 163).
"The majority of patients suffering disc pathology, will improve following non-operative therapies including Chiropractic." A trial of conservative management is warranted before examining operative techniques.''(Daffner, S (2010). The Spine Journal, 10(6); 463-468).
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2. Manchikanti et al. Prevalance of facet joint pain in chronic spinal pain of cervical thoaric and lumbar refions. BMC Musculoskeletal disorders 2004 (5) 15
3. Long.M. The Clinical Training and Communication Program: Module 2 Spinal Diagnosis,Chiropractic Development International 2013.
4. Souza T. Differential diagnosis and management for the chiropractor, Protocols and algorithms, Fourth edition. Jones and Bartlett Publishing 2009
5. Bronfort G, Haas M, Evans R, Kawchchuk, Evidence-informed management of chronic low back pain with spinal manipulation and mobilization. Spine J 2008.