Herniated disc

Lumbar herniated disc

Intervertebral discs are located between spinal bones called vertebrae. They provide cushioning and support. Over time these discs may become damaged, tear or move out of place. Herniated discs are sometimes called slipped discs or ruptured discs. A disc herniation occurs when disc material migrates or moves beyond where it normal lives, this disc material can move up and down or out (towards the periphery). Once here, it may cause the disc to protrude out or break open.

Symptoms of a herniated disc

Depending on the location of the herniated disc patients will experience back pain and if the herniation compresses nerves or the spinal cord there will also be neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the arms or legs. In the low back when a herniated disc compresses on the nerve we call this sciatica. A clinical history and exam combined with MRI and CT scan can be used to diagnose a disc herniation.

Treatment of a herniated disc

At Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) the nonsurgical treatment of herniated discs is what our chiropractors and physiotherapists specialise in. We use a multimodal approach with techniques that are backed by the latest research such as McKenzie Method, spinal manipulation, mechanical treatments, strengthening exercises and advice on sitting, exercise and posture. In some circumstances our physiotherapists and chiropractors may have to send you for a spinal injection to settle symptoms so rehabilitation exercises are possible and in rare circumstances a surgical evaluation may be needed.

Other causes of low back pain

The following conditions are common causes of low back pain.