Herniated Discs Can Be Painful – Here’s How to Tell if You Have One

Did You Know Physiotherapy Could Help Relieve Pain Caused by Herniated Discs?

Could you have herniated disc pain? This type of pain can sneak up on you. You’re sitting comfortably watching TV and when you stand up, there’s a sharp pain that radiates through your back.

If you’re experiencing pain in your lower back, you just might have a herniated disc. Contact our office in Oakville, Ontario for a consultation and evaluation, so you can get a proper diagnosis.

Herniated discs, defined

The spine consists of 33 bones referred to as vertebrae. The vertebrae are cushioned by discs made up of a gel-like substance. This cushions the discs and prevents friction.

It’s the discs that allow movement of the spine, such as bending over. However, if a disc slips out of place between the vertebrae, you have a herniated disc.

This condition is also known as a ruptured disc or slipped disc. A herniated disc can cause extreme pain if it irritates the surrounding nerves.

Why do herniated discs develop?

A disc herniation is often caused by age-related wear and tear. This condition is known as disc degeneration. With age, the disc loses water content, which makes them more prone to tearing and less flexible. Twisting and turning when lifting something can also cause a herniated disc.

Even a fall or strike to the back can result in a herniated disc. Excessive weight, occupation and genetic disposition can be the cause of disc herniated, too. Sometimes, people are unable to determine what caused their herniated disc.

“The most common symptoms of a herniated disc are arm or leg pain, numbness or tingling and weakness.” You may feel pain in your calf, thigh and buttocks. If you have a herniated disc in the neck, you’re likely to feel pain in the arm and shoulder.

When you cough or sneeze, the pain may shoot into your leg. Numbness or tingling may be felt in parts of the body. You may also be unable to lift items, as the muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken.

Physiotherapy and herniated disc pain relief

A physiotherapist will design a specific treatment program to reduce pain and speed up your recovery, so you can return to your normal activities and lifestyle. Typically, recovery can be achieved within two to eight weeks with the help of a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist will conduct an in-depth evaluation and outline specific treatment for patients with herniated discs.

Physiotherapy may include stretching exercises, massage, ice and heat therapy, electrical muscle stimulation, pelvic traction and ultrasound.

A physiotherapist will also choose specific treatments to help restore movement and reduce pain. Passive movements may be performed on you by a physiotherapist and then you can progress to active exercises on your own.

Stretching exercises will also be done, which can be done at home. Other modalities of treatment for herniated disc pain include hot and cold therapy, massage, electric stimulation, ultrasound and soft tissue mobilization.

According to research, physiotherapy often plays a big role in herniated disc recovery. Physiotherapy entails a holistic approach with both active and passive treatments. Not only is pain relief a result of physiotherapy, but a physiotherapist will teach patients how to prevent further injury.

What does a PT treatment plan for herniated discs look like?

According to SpineUniverse,

“Physiotherapy often plays a major role in herniated disc recovery. Its methods not only offer immediate pain relief, but they also teach you how to condition your body to prevent further injury.

There are a variety of physiotherapy techniques. Passive treatments relax your body and include deep tissue massage, hot and cold therapy, electrical stimulation (eg, TENS), and hydrotherapy.”

Our physiotherapist can check your symptoms against X-rays, postural evaluations, and other factors to confirm the presence and location of a herniated disc.

In addition to analyzing your symptoms and performing various tests and measures, a physiotherapist can help you determine if you have a herniated disc by assessing your medical history and lifestyle.

While the most severe cases might require surgery, physiotherapy can help many sufferers overcome their symptoms the natural way.

Physiotherapy to treat herniated discs focuses on building the strength in your back muscles, optimizing your posture, and increasing your pain-free flexibility.

Our physiotherapist may start you with a daily walking regimen before moving on to more strenuous aerobic and strengthening exercises.

Find relief today!

If you’re suffering with herniated disc pain, call us today to schedule an appointment.

Our physiotherapists will review your medical history, test your mobility, test your range of motion and create a personalized treatment plan just for you. Contact us today and we’ll get you on the road to recovery.

Sources:

Finally Relieve Those Aches in Your Back with Physiotherapy

Find the Answer to Your Back Pains Today!

Most Americans will suffer temporary back pain at some point in their lives. When back pain is not temporary, however, it becomes a major quality of life issue. The American Physical Therapy Association states that back pain is the most commonly experienced form of pain for Americans.

In fact, one in every four Americans has sustained some sort of back pain in the past three months. The good news is that you don’t have to live with back pain permanently.

Taking a proactive approach like working with a physiotherapist can help you find back pain relief at long last. Contact BeActive Physio for more information on how physiotherapy can relieve your back pain.

What can I expect with physiotherapy for back pain?

Over the course of your work with a physiotherapist, your progress will be monitored to ensure that you are recovering.

The goal is to eliminate the back pain so that you can live a normal life. A big part of working with a physiotherapist is that you will learn strategies for movement and carrying out daily tasks in ways that will prevent the pain from recurring.

For example, your therapist will show you proper posture techniques while you are at home, at work or enjoying leisure activities.

You will also learn how to keep up a regular exercise regimen to keep your supportive muscles strong, which will prevent the back pain from coming back. If your weight is contributing to your back pain, you will learn nutritional advice in addition to exercise to control your weight and keep back pain at bay.

What do treatments look like?

Once your back pain has been diagnosed, a personalized course of physiotherapy will be outlined for you. Treatments for back pain will vary based on the diagnosis, your age, weight, physical ability and other factors.

Your course of treatment may include any of the following:

  • Posture work to provide better support for your back
  • Electrical stimulation for pain relief
  • Manual therapy and spinal manipulation to improve joint mobility and relieve tissue pain
  • Stretching and strength building exercises
  • Ice or heat treatments for pain relief
  • Education on how to take better care of your back, such as proper methods of lifting, bending, sitting, and sleep positions

How will a physiotherapist diagnose my back pain?

Your journey with a physiotherapist will start with a discussion of your symptoms. Your therapist will also review your medical history for any past injuries or illnesses that could be contributing to your current pain. Your physiotherapist will also conduct an exam to assess how you are able to move and function as a result of your back pain.

The diagnosis phase will also involve some tests to find symptoms of more serious conditions. If your physiotherapist suspects that there is a serious health condition contributing to your back pain, you will likely be referred to a specialist for more testing. In most cases, this will not be necessary.

So, why am I experiencing back pain?

Did you know that the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 149 million workdays are lost due to back pain? It is a sensation that is all too common for millions of people.

60-70% of people across industrialized nations experience back pain, which can greatly hinder daily life and limit you from participating in certain tasks and activities that you enjoy. If left untreated, back pain can also progress into more serious health issues.

There are three main types of back pain:

  • Chronic Back Pain: If back pain lasts longer than three months without subsiding, it is classified as chronic.
  • Recurrent Back Pain: This occurs when acute back pain goes away for a while, but then comes back periodically.
  • Acute Back Pain: Acute back pain is the most common type. This is a temporary pain that goes away in less than three months.

Back pain is usually not serious and will resolve on its own. Recurring pain and chronic pain, however, can be a sign of a more serious health problem.

There is a broad range of potential physical conditions that could be causing your back pain, which include osteoporosis, degenerative disk disease, a herniated disk, fractures, or lumbar spinal stenosis.

Get started today

The key is to be proactive in standing up to your back pain. If the pain lasts longer than three months, it probably won’t go away on its own.

Call BeActive Physio today to schedule your first appointment with a physiotherapist.

Herniated Discs Can Be a Real Pain in the Back – Are You Living with One?

Do You Know How to Identify a Herniated Disc?

If you’ve been experiencing back pain, it just may be a herniated disc. A herniated disc can put extra pressure on the muscles and nerves around the spinal column.

Strange neck pains, back pains, or extremity symptoms can indicate a variety of potential problems – including one or more herniated discs. How can you tell for sure whether you have this specific problem?

Symptoms may include pain on one side of the body, pain that radiates to the arms or legs, aching, burning sensations in the affected area, and pain with certain movements.

Fortunately, physiotherapy can help relieve your herniated disc symptoms and help you move comfortably once again.

How will physiotherapy help my herniated disc?

physiotherapy plays a critical role in recovering from a herniated disc. A physiotherapist implements different techniques for pain relief and healing. Passive treatments like deep tissue massage, electric stimulation and hot and cold therapy are a few examples of passive treatments. Deep tissue massage uses pressure to relieve spasms and deep muscle tension due to a herniated disc. Hot therapy increases blood flow to the affected area and enhances healing. Cold therapy reduces inflammation. Electric nerve stimulation reduces muscle spasm by sending a tiny electric current to the nerve pathway.

Active treatments by a physiotherapist address joint movement, stability, flexibility, strength and posture. A physiotherapist will teach you core stabilizing exercises to strengthen the back muscles. You’ll also engage in body muscle exercises to strengthen and condition your body. In addition, a physiotherapist will teach you flexibility techniques and proper stretching techniques.

Herniated discs, explained

“Studies have indicated that genetic factors influence many, if not most of the diseases commonly encountered in clinical practice by physiotherapists, such as herniated disc. Genetics has been shown to play a role in end-plate herniations at 40-49 years of age.”

The spinal column consists of a series of bones. “The cervical spine has seven bones, the lumbar spine has five bones and the thoracic spine has 12.” Each disc has a gelatinous inner section and a tough outer ring. When the disc protrudes through the outer ring, it is known as a herniated disc. This can cause numbness, pain, and discomfort.

There are a number of factors that can cause a herniated disc. Certain motions like turning or twisting can cause a herniated disc. Lifting heavy objects is another culprit. Being overweight can cause a herniated disc, too.

This is because the discs have to support more weight. Older people are at risk for a herniated disc. As we age, the discs begin to lose some of their protective water content. This causes the disc to slip more easily out of place.

Common treatments for herniated discs

Herniated discs can be successfully treated with physiotherapy. At your initial appointment, one of our physiotherapists will perform diagnostic tests to determine the root of your pain and verify that your pain is indeed being caused by a herniated disc.

Once the cause of your pain is clear, an individualized treatment plan will be created for you, based on your specific needs.

This typically includes a series of stretches and exercises aimed at relieving your pain, improving your function, and promoting the natural healing process of your body. Additional treatments may be added as your physiotherapist deems fit. These include:

  • Manual therapy
  • Ice and heat therapies
  • Traction
  • Class IV laser therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Education on posture and lifting mechanics

Your physiotherapist will also advise you on any lifestyle changes that may be recommended in order to prevent herniated discs from developing again in the future.

physiotherapy is one of the safest, quickest, and most effective ways to treat herniated discs. It is a holistic and non-invasive approach that, in many cases, has been able to eliminate the need for harmful drugs or surgical intervention.

Find relief today

If you have back pain, turn to physiotherapy for help. A physiotherapist will do a comprehensive exam and review your medical history to determine if you have a herniated disc. Once a proper diagnosis is made, a physiotherapist will then create and implement a personalized treatment plan targeted to the affected area.

The goal of physiotherapy is to help you attain an active and pain-free life. It’s helped thousands of others and can help you, too. Get on the road to recovery from a herniated disc with physiotherapy by contacting BeActive Physio today!

Herniated Discs: Could This be Causing Your Back Pain?

Your spine is a complex part of the body. It is comprised of 24 bones, and 5 of them are located in the lower back. It is also comprised of numerous nerves and intervertebral discs. Sometimes, the jelly-like nucleus of these discs can “herniate,” or protrude, through the cell wall, if it is not strong enough. If this pressure continues, it could push through the outer ring and begin to bulge. Herniated discs occur along the spine, and they are most often found in the lower back.

Generally, lower back pain is the first symptom of this a herniated disc. Other symptoms may include numbness or weakness in the legs, shooting pain down the back of one leg, or loss of bladder control. Back pain can range from moderate to severe. If you are experiencing back pain and you think it may be the result of a herniated disc, call our office today to see how physiotherapy can help you get back to a pain-free life.

What causes herniated discs?

Herniated discs are typically associated with aging, as the spine begins to wear down and become more brittle. This is known as “disc degeneration.” The discs in the spine contain a high water content when we’re young, but as we age that water content gradually decreases. This causes the discs to shrink. Therefore, the older we get, the more prone we become to disc degeneration. Other risk factors that can make you more prone to herniated discs include:

  • Being male.
  • Being overweight.
  • Being between the ages of 20-50.
  • Engaging in improper lifting techniques.
  • Driving frequently.
  • Engaging in a sedentary lifestyle.

How do I know if I have a herniated disc?

If you believe you may be suffering from a herniated disc, it is important to consult your primary care physician first. Your doctor will perform a physical exam to assess muscle strength and sensation to see if your disc is herniated, and he or she may also conduct a neurological exam.

If your doctor believes your disc is herniated, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be done to confirm the diagnosis. From this scan, your doctor will be able to clearly see if there is a herniated disc in the lower back region. If the disc is putting pressure on the spine, it can be detected. Your doctor will then provide you with a treatment plan, and will likely recommend physiotherapy for pain relief.

How physiotherapy can help:

After going through an evaluation with your physiotherapist, he or she will begin your treatment with passive physiotherapy. Passive physical treatments include deep tissue massage, hot and 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.

After your passive physiotherapy is complete, your physiotherapist will create an active treatment plan for you. This may include core exercises to strengthen your back, stretching and flexibility exercises to increase range of motion, and muscle strengthening exercises. Your physiotherapist will also give you self-care advice that you can implement on your own, in order to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Physiotherapy has been proven to be effective for disc herniation. It is a noninvasive alternative to surgery and a natural way to relieve pain without the need for harmful drugs. If you are suffering from a back pain or a disc herniation, give us a call to schedule a consultation today. Our experienced and certified physiotherapists would be happy to help you get you started on your process toward long-lasting pain relief.

Sources:

https://www.moveforwardpt.com/SymptomsConditionsDetail.aspx?cid=79ef56df-780e-4ad0-963f-94364404125a

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/herniated-disk/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354101

Posture Perfect: How to Correct Your Back Pain

If you suffer from back pain, you’re in good company. In fact, the most commonly reported area of pain is the back. According to one longitudinal study, 3% of all emergency room visits between the years of 2004-2008 were due to back pain or injury. An estimated 25 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, many of whom experience that pain in their back. Back pain can be limiting in numerous ways, and many people with chronic back pain also have a disability that makes it difficult for them to perform their daily tasks. While this is undeniably frustrating and uncomfortable, physiotherapy can help get you back to your normal functioning, pain-free life! For more information on how we can help you eliminate your back pain, give our office a call today.

Why do I have back pain?

If you are suffering from persistent back pain, there is a good chance it is due to your posture. Poor posture is one of the most common causes of back pain. Do you slouch at your desk? Do you lean forward to read emails? Do you hunch over your keyboard? These are all things that people do subconsciously, without even realizing the toll it takes on the body.

Your posture affects how your body moves – whether you’re sitting, standing, walking, running, jumping, or performing pretty much any other task throughout the day. Your posture may also change depending on what you are doing – perhaps your posture when you stand is perfect, but when you sit at a desk or lay down, your body begins to hunch and fold in ways that it is simply not supposed to.

How did I develop poor posture?

Poor posture isn’t anything to be embarrassed about – very few people have perfect posture, and most people partake in bad posture habits in one way or another. We become so wrapped up in whatever tasks we are doing that we forget to think about the way our bodies are positioned. Maybe you’re completing a project at work, it’s the end of the day, you’re tired, and you’re slouched sideways in your desk chair with one eye on the monitor and the other on the clock. This position isn’t normal for your body, but you are getting in the position most efficient for you to type up the rest of that file and then zoom out the door.

Poor posture isn’t due to laziness or apathy; rather, it generally has something to do with a physical weakness within our bodies. We slouch, slump, hunch, and droop over when we get feel drained because our bodies literally get tired of holding us up.

Even if you exercise regularly, it is possible that there are still a few weak muscles contributing to your posture that you may not even realize. The muscles in your shoulders, back, abdomen, buttocks, and pelvic floor all play an important role in your posture. If even one of these is weak, your core will be affected, and your posture may suffer.

How will physiotherapy help me regain proper posture?

Physiotherapy is a great way to regain normal posture. Physiotherapists are experts in movement and they are great resources to have when trying to achieve your physical performance goals. They will aid you in the improvement of your balance, stability, flexibility, and mobility, all of which will positively affect your posture.

At your initial evaluation, your physiotherapist will perform functional testing and diagnostic imaging in order to identify which weakened areas of your body are causing your back pain. Afterward, they will create a customized treatment plan, tailored to your specific needs. This plan will focus on improving your posture, increasing strength, and (most importantly) relieving pain.

If you are experiencing back pain, your posture may be to blame. Fortunately, our advanced team of physiotherapists are ready to help you begin your journey toward long-lasting pain relief. Find out for yourself why physiotherapy is one of the most effective ways to address your back pain and start on the road to recovery. Contact Beactive Oakville Physiotherapy today to schedule a consultation, and figure out how physiotherapy can help make you “posture perfect!”  

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/posture-align-yourself-for-good-health/art-20269950

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/multimedia/back-pain/sls-20076817

3 Indicators That Your Sciatica May Require Physiotherapy Intervention

Your sciatic nerves run from your lower back down your legs. People who suffer from sciatica typically describe a “shooting pain” sensation on one side of their body. While this condition does not always require medical treatment, physiotherapy can help ease your pain and lessen some of your other uncomfortable symptoms. Contact BeActive Oakville Physiotherapy today! So, how do you know when you should seek treatment? Some common indicators include:

1. When at-home treatments fail to bring relief.

There are some common home remedies you can try, to help ease some of your sciatica symptoms. For example, alternating with ice and heat compresses, or sleeping with a pillow between your knees can help alleviate some pain and stiffness. Sitting in a reclining chair can also help provide some relief, as it redirects the pressure from your lower back. Going for a walk or taking part in other gentle exercises can also help in getting your body moving so it doesn’t become too tight.

These are some commonly used at-home treatment methods for pain management, but they unfortunately do not always work. If your home treatments are having little-to-no effect in reducing your pain and restricted motion, or if your symptoms persist for more than a week without improvement, you should seek the aid of a physiotherapist. If your symptoms worsen, be sure to consult with your primary physician. Physiotherapy can provide you with the treatment you need to alleviate your aches and pains.

2. When symptoms change from mild to severe.

The severity of pain you feel can change depending on how compressed your sciatic nerve becomes. The more compressed it is, the more painful it will be. Symptoms may include severe shooting pain, weakness or numbness on one side, or the inability to move your feet. If your sciatic nerve becomes compressed in the area that controls your bladder and/or bowel function, you may lose control of those functions. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with both your primary doctor and your physiotherapist to discuss a treatment plan for easing your pain and getting you back to your normal function. Your doctor may also run a number of tests to rule out any other underlying conditions.

3. When the pain is a symptom of an injury.

With mild sciatica, your symptoms can build up over time, and they may even go away on their own. However, if your sciatica symptoms show up immediately, following an injury or trauma (such as a car accident, sports injury, or harsh fall), it is important to consult with your doctor and your physiotherapist. These symptoms will most likely be severe since they are the result of an intense impact surrounding the sciatic nerve, and it is important to analyze the extent of the damage. No matter what course of treatment your primary physician recommends, it is likely that he or she will also recommend physiotherapy.

Give us a call today:

Physiotherapy can act as a lifeline for those suffering from persistent or severe sciatica. Your physiotherapist will teach you exercises that will help in strengthening the muscles in your lower back and surrounding the sciatic nerve. This will help to ease pain and prevent future injuries from occurring. Your posture and range of motion will also be improved through these treatments, helping to keep sciatica symptoms at bay.

Are you looking to manage (or banish) your sciatica symptoms? Contact our Oakville, ON office today to speak with an experienced physiotherapist about how our treatment programs can alleviate your painful sciatica flare-ups. We’ll help you get started on the path toward long-lasting relief!

Sources:

https://www.moveforwardpt.com/Radio/Detail/sciatica-physical-therapy

https://www.moveforwardpt.com/LowBackPain

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