What is the cause of your back pain? Is it sciatica, a strain, early pregnancy, Covid-19, overweight, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia or a slipped disc?
NHS England describes back pain as the ‘single largest cause of disability in the UK, with lower back pain accounting for 11% of the total disability of the UK population’. In fact, the country lost a reported 30.8m sick days due to problems associated with achy lumbar regions, back, neck and upper limb problems in 2016. So it’s clear that lower backache is preventing many of us from working and carrying out everyday activities comfortably.
A slipped or herniated disc is among the most incapacitating of back agony issues – once in a while with added indications, for example, the pounding leg torment of sciatica. When you have a ‘slipped’ (prolapsed) disc, a disc does not actually slip. What happens is that part of the inner softer part of the disc (the nucleus pulposus) bulges out (herniates) through a weakness in the outer part of the disc. A prolapsed disc is sometimes called a herniated disc. The bulging disc may press on nearby structures such as a nerve coming from the spinal cord. Some inflammation also develops around the prolapsed part of the disc. Inflammation may irritate a nerve and also causes swelling, which may put pressure on a nerve.
This is a condition where the focal point of a spinal disc swells outwards and presses onto a nerve. The spinal discs go about as safeguards and through an assortment of causes, including injury, helpless stance and general “mileage” (which means steady disintegration), the dividers of the discs can get more fragile. If the centre of the disc pushes out, this can cause the disc wall to bulge and that can be when pain strikes!
The usual advice is to carry on as normal as much as possible. Painkillers may help. Physical treatments such as spinal manipulation may also help or IDD therapy, exercises or injections. Surgery may be an option if the symptoms persist.
The long-term outcome of low back pain is generally favorable, but persistent symptoms affect millions of individuals. However there are three treatments which do not require surgery and have been very successful at treating slipped/prolapsed discs.
#1. Anti Inflammatory Courses…
Due to the fact that herniated discs can often times be incredibly sensitive, especially in acute cases, you may need to undergo a short course of anti inflammatories.
Once your general practitioner gives you the go ahead you can begin to take these types of medication which are a very effective herniated disc treatment.
I know that the mere thought of moving causes you extreme mental anguish, but these types of exercises are actually designed not to aggravate your bulging discs.
These are low impact exercise routines which are geared towards reducing the bulged disc back into its correct location in between vertebrae.
#3. Lying Correctly…
Whenever you lie down, ensure that you are lying down correctly. You should always prop yourself up when you lie down and while resting slightly on your elbows for a few seconds.
Back in the early 80’s I had my first disc bulge problem and back then you were put into bed attached to traction and left to lie it out for a few days. Unfortunately for me I ended up with a trapped nerve in my leg and lost all sensation of it on one side so I was soon taken off traction. Over the following seven years every time my disc bulge I would visit a chiropractor and a physiotherapist but eventually in 1987 I had to have my first of many surgeries to remove a prolapsed disc and fuse my low back.
What followed on from that initial surgery was cervical disc problems as well as lumber and a further two emergency surgeries to fuse them and correct a kyphosis ( curvature of the spine that causes the top of the back to appear more rounded than normal). My pain now is from the discs above and below all my previous surgeries which all have bulges as they have had to work much harder due to the fusion above them.
Spinal surgery is nothing like this now and most is keyhole and you are in an out of hospital within days whereas mine took weeks and months to recover from. Looking after your back is the key to avoiding any disc related problems and ten key ways to look after it are :
- Keep active
- Keep fit
- Keep a healthy weight
- Eat healthy
- Keep your posture correct
- Take regular exercise
- Do not smoke
- Take great care when lifting
- Get plenty of rest
- Take great care when gardening.