Is Your Back Pain Caused by a Herniated Disc?

herniated disc

Is Your Back Pain Caused by a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc is a condition that occurs along the spine. Most often, it is found in the lower back. The spine is comprised of 24 bones, and five of them are found in the lower back. There are also nerves and intervertebral discs in the spine. With a herniated disc, the jelly-like nucleus begins to push against its outer ring. If the pressure continues, it may push through the outer ring and begin to bulge. Generally, low back pain is the first symptom of this condition. Other symptoms may include weakness in the legs, shooting pain down the back of one leg, numbness in the legs or loss of bladder control. Back pain can range from moderate to severe. Call NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness to see how physiotherapy can help you live a pain-free life.


Causes and Risk Factors of a Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is typically the result of the wearing down of the spine due to age. It’s known as disc degeneration. When you’re young, the discs in the spine contain a high water content. With age, the water content decreases and the discs begin to shrink. This process makes the aging process prone to disc herniation. Risk factors for back pain and a herniated disc include being a male between the ages of 20 and 50, being overweight, engaging in improper lifting and repetitive activities, driving frequently and having a sedentary lifestyle. When doing something that is physically demanding, it is important to use safe movement techniques to prevent an injury such as a herniated disc.

Diagnosing a Herniated Disc

After discussing your symptoms with a doctor, a physical exam will be performed to determine whether or not you have a herniated disc. A neurological exam may also be done. During this exam, muscle strength and sensation will be assessed. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be done to confirm the diagnosis. This scan is able to show a herniated disc in the lower back region. If the disc is putting pressure on the spine, it can be detected. Likely, your doctor will recommend physiotherapy for pain relief.

How a Physiotherapist Can Help Disc Herniation

A physiotherapist will begin with passive treatments for herniated discs. Passive physical treatments include deep tissue massage, cold therapy, hydrotherapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and traction. Deep tissue massage utilizes pressure to relieve muscle tension and spasms. Hot therapy may be used to increase blood flow to the target area to accelerate healing. Cold therapy helps reduce inflammation. Hydrotherapy relaxes muscles and brings pain relief. The TENS machine uses an electrical current that triggers the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. Traction may be implemented to reduce pressure on the spine.

A physiotherapist will also have you engage in active treatments for disc herniation. You’ll engage in core exercises to strengthen your back, muscle strengthening exercises, and stretching and flexibility movements to increase movement. With physiotherapy, your physiotherapist will teach you self-care principles to maintain a healthy lifestyle. physiotherapy has been proven to be effective for disc herniation. It is a noninvasive alternative to surgery and prescription painkillers.

Are you suffering from back pain? If so, give us a call. Our experienced and certified physiotherapists can assist you with back pain or a herniated disc. An individualized treatment plan will be created to target the affected area. Why suffer from pain when physiotherapy can help get you on the road to recovery and good health? Contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA to schedule an appointment.

Tired of Lower Back Pain? Here’s What To Do:

Lower back pain is the nemesis of many. That familiar ache can limit time spent working, relaxing, and enjoying life. It can lead to irritability and a whole host of other health problems. And, yet, it’s surprisingly common.

The World Health Organization estimates that in the United States, 149 million days of work are lost due to low back pain. Back pain is the leading cause of inactivity and loss of work, and it appears in 60 to 70 percent of people in industrialized nations.

If you’re experiencing this type of pain, you know how important it is to find relief. Fortunately, a qualified physiotherapist can guide you towards a pain-free life. Here are some ways that we can help, and reasons to call NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness Winnipeg, CA today.

What Is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy includes treatments that focus on the management of disabilities and injuries. It helps to alleviate lower back pain, encourage healing, and bring about restored function and movement. It is performed by a trained physiotherapist who is knowledgeable in evaluation and conservative management, including rehabilitation, of orthopedic, neurologic, and cardiovascular conditions.

There are two components to most physiotherapy programs: passive physiotherapy to reduce the patient’s pain so that it becomes more manageable, and active exercises that the patient engages in independently.

Passive Physiotherapy

When you’re suffering from lower back pain, it can be debilitating and makes it so you can’t be as active as you would like. As such, it’s important for a physiotherapist to reduce your pain as much as possible so that you can actively participate in your treatment. These tools are often used as a form of ‘passive therapy’ because they are done to a patient by the physiotherapist.

  • Electrical stimulation, such as TENS Units
  • Heat/ice packs
  • Ultrasound
  • Iontophoresis
  • Dry needling
  • Manual therapies
  • Massage
  • Hydrotherapy

We use some of these methods, such as hot/cold packs and massage therapy, to improve blood flow to the affected area, thereby reducing pain and swelling. We also utilize electrical stimulation therapy, which is a painless treatment that delivers tiny electrical waves through your nervous system to relieve pain, reduce muscle spasms, and encourage your body to produce pain-relieving hormones. Some of our clients are best suited for hydrotherapy treatment. This involves performing low-intensity movements in water which relieves pressure on muscles while allowing you to move your joints without discomfort.

Active Physiotherapy

Active physiotherapy treatments are exercises performed by the patient and are often used in the later stages of physiotherapy — once the lower back pain has subsided enough so that the patient can perform them without excessive discomfort. There are many different types of exercises that a physiotherapist may recommend, including stretching, stability training, and strength training. Some of these will help you with your flexibility and range of motion, while others help build the muscles around the painful area to provide those parts of the body with support.

What to Expect During Your Visits

When you first visit our clinic, your physiotherapist will ask you several questions about your health, history, and lower back pain specifically. Having this information will help your physiotherapist provide you with the best treatment plan possible so that you see long-lasting results as quickly as possible.

Your physiotherapist will also provide a thorough examination. Depending on your symptoms, your physiotherapist may assess your strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, posture, blood pressure, and heart and respiration rates. This may include using his or her hands to palpate your back and surrounding area, as well as a visual examination of your mobility.

You may learn special exercises to perform at home so that you can minimize pain, avoid re-injury, lessen strain, and speed up your recovery time. Your PT specialist may recommend special equipment and will undoubtedly spend a great deal of time educating you about your source of pain and pain management strategies. He or she will also perform hands-on exercises to deliver you immediate relief.

When you’re ready to alleviate or eliminate your pain, contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA to see how physiotherapy can help you live a pain-free life.

How Good Posture Can Prevent Shoulder Impingement

Typically, shoulder impingement is caused by repetitive motions. Weight lifters, tennis players, painters and construction workers are susceptible to shoulder impingement. At the same time, shoulder impingement can be caused by daily activities like driving, reading, working and cooking. The postures during these activities can affect the amount of subacromion space in the shoulders. The shoulders have three bones that are attacked by muscles and tendons known as the rotator cuff. When the shoulders are raised, the space between the acromion and the rotator cuff narrows. The rotator cuff and acromion can actually rub against the tendons and cause shoulder impingement. Those with shoulder impingement can have difficulty lifting their arm above the head or even putting on a coat. Left untreated, it can cause a tear in the rotator cuff. Good posture can help prevent shoulder impingement.

How Good Posture Avoids Shoulder Impingement

With good posture, there is no misalignment of the shoulder blade to throw off proper scapulohumeral rhythm. It also keeps the muscles around the upper back, shoulder and chest flexible. There’s no tightening of the trapezius muscle. Muscles tighten or stretch with poor posture. Overtime, this muscle imbalance leads to injury or muscle pain.

A Guide to Good Posture

Sitting, standing and sleeping in the right position leads to good body function and helps prevent shoulder impingement. Follow these tips:

  • When sitting, keep your head straight forward and don’t let it tilt down. Sit with your knees slightly lower than your hips. Keep both feet flat on the floor.
  • When standing, keep your shoulders back and aligned. Wear quality shoes for support and slightly bend your knees lessen pressure.
  • When sleeping, use pillows to minimize spinal curves. Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs for better support.

If you’re suffering from shoulder impingement, a physiotherapist can be a lifesaver. A physiotherapist will use both passive and active modalities to treat shoulder impingement. Hands-on treatment and stretching exercises will be used to help restore range of motion and shoulder biomechanics. Heat and ice and ultrasound may be used to enhance healing, reduce inflammation and lessen pain. Generally, it may take four to six weeks to get full function back. A physiotherapist will also assess your workstation and what activities you do. They will suggest changes to avoid further problems.

If you are struggling with pain due to shoulder impingement, please contact NRG Atheletes Therapy Fitness today. We’ll get you on the road to recovery.