Disc Hernia / Degenerative Disc

Summary

Disc hernia is also known as: slipped disc or disc bulge

Cervical Region(Neck): Pain in the neck that extends down one arm.  Patients with this problem often have had multiple incidences of neck pain, with a history of several minor injuries.  

Thoracic Region(Mid Back): Pain in the spine that extends under the scapula(shoulder blade) and shoulder.  Some patients experience discomfort in the stomach and find it hard to identify a specific spot from which the pain originates. 

Lumbar Region(Lower Back): Pain in the buttocks and sometimes lower back.  The pain often travels down one leg resulting in sciatica.  Symptoms that extend beyond the knee and travel to the toes often signifies severe nerve compression by the disc hernation.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain that begins in the spine or buttocks/shoulder and moves down an arm or leg
  • Numbness,burning, and tingling
  • Deep ache or bruised sensation
  • Weakness in an arm or leg
  • Foot drop or decreased grip strength
  • lose of sensation over a patch of skin
  • Often aggravated by include bending, twisting and lifting

Causes

 The spinal discs are located between the vertebrae and function as shock absorbent cushions.  When the discs are exposed to repeated postures involving flexion of the spine they can rupture.  Damage to discs can take several years to develop with few signs or symptoms.  Symptoms often appear suddenly and are severe.  Disc herniation/disc degeneration can result in nerve root irritation and compression.  In adults over 40 years the risk of herniation actually decreases as the disc loses height with age.  

Treatment

How our experts can help: Typically, these patients may be co-managed.  However, depending on the findings of the history and patient examination, the chiropractor will recommend an individualised plan of management.  Treatment options may include:

 

  • Patient education and reassurance
  • Spinal Decompression
  • Manipulation or mobilization of association joints
  • Soft tissue therapy of surrounding musculature
  • Modalities including interferential and ultrasound therapy
  • Rehabilitation and exercises
  • Ergonomic and lifestyle changes
  • Referral and co-management