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Herniated Disc

What Is A Herniated Disc? How Does It Develop?Picture7

Your spine is composed of 33 vertebrae(spinal bones) – and between each vertebra, you have intervertebral discs (rubbery-like discs). These discs play a vital role with shock absorption, spinal flexibility, and also absorb stress that the body encounters with movement. They also provide support between each vertebra to ensure they do not rub, hit, or grind against one another.

In addition, these rubbery discs’ have a very soft, jelly-like center called the nucleus pulpous,and is supported by a tougher exterior layer called the annulus fibrosis.

Movements such as bending forward and squatting causes the spinal disc to be squished along the front portion of the annulus, which then causes the back portionto be stretched out allowing the nucleus to protrude outwards.

A herniated disc can occur anywhere along the spine. Repetitive bending movements overtime can irritate the spinal disc significantly. Eventually,the nucleus (jelly-like center) of the disc will push/break through the protective layers of the annuals (the outer layer)– placing pressure on the surrounding nerves.This also weakens the functionality of the spinal disc and can cause mild- severe pain, weakness, tingling and numbness in the arms or legs– depending on the location of the herniated disk.

What Are Common Symptoms Of A Herniated Disc?

  • Low Back Pain
  • Pain that worsens with certain movements
  • Pain that worsens after sitting/standing for a period of time
  • Mild-moderate pain traveling into the arms or legs
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Weakness

How Is It Treated? And How Long Does It Take to Recover from A Herniated Disc?

It is always important to get assessed by a regulated healthcare professional so they can create a treatment plan tailoring your specific needs. Your chiropractor or physiotherapist can also provide hands-on treatment to help alleviate your pain and improve overall muscle and joint mobility/functionality. In addition, therapeutic modalities such as IFC may be usedas well as ongoing education about your condition and what you can do to assist with your recovery process.

Depending on your assessment, you may also require soft tissue release from a Registered Massage Therapist. This will also help to release any muscle knots and reduce muscle tension in the affected areas.

The recovery process of someone who has a herniated disc can vary. However, acute injuries can take approximately 6-8 weeks, in addition to receiving proper treatment, rest, and therapeutic exercise. With long-term/chronic conditions, it can take a few months to treat.

Contact Active Life Wellness Centre if you are suffering from a disc herniation. You can book an appointment with our experienced and regulated Physiotherapist or Chiropractor and they will be more than happy to assist you in your recovery process.

What Exercises Can You Do for A Herniated Disc?

Prone Mckenzie Stretchprone

To prefrom this stretch, start by lying down on your stomach. Then place your hands flat down beside your shoulders. Take a deep breath in and push yourself up (as shown in the picture on the right) and then exhale. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds. Remember to keep breathing!
Slowly come back to the starting position and rest. Repeate 5 times

Bird Dog Exercisebird

To complete this exercise, start by being on your hands and knees on a comfortable surface. Ensure that your hands and elbows are straight under your shoulder, and ensure that your knees are under your hips. Start with tightening your core muscles, and raise one arm straight up and bring the opposite leg up. Ensure that your back is flat and not curved. Keeping a tight core is essential as it will help provde stability to your spine and will not make you shake as much. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Front Plank + Side Plank

Front planks are a great exercise to help strengthening your core. To complete this exercise, start by lying down on your stomach on a comfortable surface/mat. Using your forearms, place them flat on your mat ensuring that the elbow and shoulder are aligned. Begin by tucking your stomach in (to activate your core muscles) and lift your body up ensuring that nothing is touching your mat/surface besides your toes and forearms (as shown on the image on the right). You want to ensure you are engaging your core by keeping your stomach tucked in during this exercise – however, DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH AT ANY TIME. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds and repeat it 3 times

Side Plankside - Copy

The side-plank exercise is very similar to the front plank, however targets more of the obliques. To perform this exercise, start by lying down on your side. Place the side of your forearm flat on the mat, ensuring that it is aligned under the shoulder. Next, straighten both legs. Tightening your core muscles andlift your body (hips and legs) up from the surface. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds and repeat it 3 times on each side.

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Chiropractic Care Brampton ON | (905) 458-6677