back pain

Lumbar discs are spinal structures in the lower back that serve as shock absorbers between your vertebrae. They support the upper body and allow you to make a wide range of movements. Although they play a crucial role in your body, they’re prone to painful and debilitating injuries. 

Lumbar disc herniations are prevalent injuries in these spinal structures, and they most commonly affect adults aged 35 to 50. Their symptoms often show up for no clear reason, but they can also happen when a person suddenly twists their lower back or lifts a heavy object.

How Do Lumbar Disc Injuries Happen?

Each spinal disc has a durable outer ring called the annulus, and it protects the gel-like inner material called nucleus pulposus inside the spine. Due to different factors like aging and general wear and tear, the discs degenerate and become flatter and harder. They become prone to cracking and tearing.

When the lower back (lumbar spine) is affected, the protruding disc may compress and irritate nearby nerve roots. As a result, the person will feel sharp pains from the buttocks and down the legs.

Symptoms of lumbar disc injuries include lower back pain (especially when straining or coughing), weakness or numbness in one leg or foot, and abdominal cramps. Sometimes, they may affect bladder and bowel movements. It’s best to see your doctor if you experience these symptoms.

Diagnosing Lumbar Disc Injuries

Diagnosis typically involves a range of physical and laboratory tests. These procedures generally include:

  • Range of motion tests
  • Vital signs test
  • Neurological examinations
  • Gait monitoring
  • Lumbar spine area exam
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
  • Electromyography (EMG) 
  • X-rays

Doctors will choose which diagnostic tests will be best for the patient.

Management and Treatment of Lumbar Disc Injuries

Dealing with intense pain is the primary goal of treating lumbar disc injuries. Applying ice or cold packs to the affected areas can help ease inflammation and muscle spasms. An ice massage can also help. This remedy is most effective within 48 hours of the start of the injury. Similarly, heating pads, a hot compress, or a hot bath can also be effective within this time frame.

Doctors may also prescribe muscle relaxants and recommend over-the-counter pain medications to ease the discomfort. Rarely, surgery may be necessary.

Bed rest is good for one or two days, as anything more will result in stiffness and prolonged pain. Light physical activity and physiotherapy may help after that point.

Physiotherapy for Lumbar Disc Injuries

Physiotherapy plays a vital role in improving the outcomes of a lumbar disc injury. Deep tissue massages, traction, and hot and cold therapy are passive treatments that can help alleviate the pain associated with these injuries. On the other hand, active treatments like hydrotherapy, muscle strengthening, and flexibility exercises can condition the body to bounce back and prevent further injury.

Get the Best Physiotherapy Near Bondi Beach

Lumbar disc injuries are prevalent among many adults. They can be painful and debilitating, so knowing how to manage them is crucial. There are plenty of non-surgical treatments for these conditions, but physiotherapy is perhaps the most important remedy. It alleviates the pain and helps prevent further injuries.

If you’re looking for the best physiotherapy near Bondi Beach, Invigor Health has you covered. We’ll provide you with personalised plans to help you deal with both the short-term and long-term effects of your injuries. Get back on track—contact us today!

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