Herniated Discs Treatment and Management

Table of Contents

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Low back pain is an extremely common problem that most people experience at some point in their life. The research acknowledged LBP with a multifactorial pathology with a variety of symptoms, dysfunctions, and a number of possible sources of pain. A herniated lumbar disc is one of the factors associated with low back pain.

What is Herniated Lumbar Disc?

A herniated lumbar disc is a displacement of intervertebral disc material (nucleus pulposus or annulus fibrosis) beyond the intervertebral disc space. In addition, the highest prevalence is among people aged 30-50 years, with a male to female ratio of 2:1. (Read More)

What are the risk factors? 

The research highlighted patients with one or more of the following factors may be at risk for Herniated disc. Occupational hazards, sedentary lifestyle, road traffic accidents, excessive weight, smoking, and infection. (Read More)

What are the treatment options? 

1- Conservative Treatment (Physical Therapy,  Exercise Therapy, etc)

2- Pain Medication (non-prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory NSAID's medications) to treat pain and inflammation

3- Surgical Intervention (Herniated Disc Surgery)

As you can see the treatment options for the herniated Lumbar discs are varied. However, one of the most common treatment is surgical intervention. However, research has shown about 0.5-25% of the patinets going to develop recurrent disc herniation after a successful first surgery. (Readmore)

In addition, the scientific literature doesn't show clear evidence in the cost-benefit studies of most surgical interventions of the spine compare with the conservative treatments. It has not been yet demonstrated that fusion surgery and disc replacement are better options than the conservative treatment (readmore).

In a recent study, they have measured the effectiveness of surgery vs conservative treatment for individual with Sciatica pain due to the Lumbar Disc Herniation with radiculopathy and they have concluded "The current evidence suggests that early surgery is better than prolonged conservative care in the short- term for individuals with Lumbar Disc Herniation with radiculopathy. However, results for the long-term effect showed no significant difference between the Surgery and Conservative Treatment (Read More).

While surgical intervention is not the only option, researchers examined the effects of conservative treatment by considering not only the recurrence rate of disc herniation after surgery but also cost reduction that benefits patients and society.

What about conservative treatment?

Results of a recent meta-analysis has shown that 2/3 of disc bulges spontaneously heal on their own! Many of them within a few months too, not years. They have concluded, the conservative treatment may become the first choice of treatment for LDH (Read More).

In another study, researcher examined the effects of loading on the intervertebral discs were reviewed to examine the plausibility of using loading through the exercise to induce regeneration or healing of the intervertebral disc.

They find out up to 66% of lumbar intervertebral disc herniations, of any variety, can actually demonstrate healing with conservative treatment. In fact, the worse the herniation, the better the spontaneous regression would be. They also suggested, that specific loading through exercise may have the potential to impart healing or regeneration of the intervertebral disc. (Read More)

Home Based Exercises

We have prepared a routine for L4 L5 - L5 S1 disc bulge best exercise rehabilitation for pain relief to start with. These exercises will help you to improve your symptoms, however, these back exercises should be performed in a pain-free manner. If the pain is experienced, it is best to discontinue the exercises and consider being evaluated by a physical therapist who is familiar with pain science.

Our Approach

Dublin Sports Injury Clinic is a Physical Therapy Clinic based in Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin2. We have a high volume of patients who are treated with low back pain. Initially, our treatment will be focusing on helping our patients to get pain free as quickly as possible. We educate our patients to understand the cause of their back pain and how they can stay pain-free. Our treatment and rehabilitation exercises will be customized for every patient and we show them the correct techniques and progression.

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Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. You can contact us if you would like to book an appointment or get some advice from our therapist.

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