The herniated disc, or slipped disc, is an increasingly common pathology in industrialized countries. The causes are multiple, but mainly derive from the sedentary and repetitive gestures and positions assumed in modern life. The most affected age group is between 30-50 years old. It is more common among men and in 90% of cases the most affected is the lumbar area.
There are many cures for the herniated disc.
Nervenia proposes a non-invasive treatment supported by an extensive scientific bibliography which, depending on the case, can be directed to pain management, reduction of inflammation around the herniated disc or to the health of the nerve irritated by the latter.
The herniated disc is due to the lesion of the intervetebral disc. The disc is a structure with concentric rings that contain a small ball of gelatinous material in the center, the nucleus pulposus, present between one vertebra and the other with an important function of cushioning. Excessive loads, wear, traumas can injure the concentric rings and the pulposus nucleus can thus migrate towards the outermost area of the disk. Once it reaches the outer ring it can form a bubble (extroflexion) which can already cause problems and pain: the disc protrusion.
If the outer ring breaks and the gelatinous material comes out we have the actual herniated disc, which can cause different symptoms depending on the area in which it is formed.
It should be noted that many herniated discs are asymptomatic. In symptomatic ones, however, the pain caused by the herniated disc is very varied but follows some general rules.
We can have cervical, dorsal or lumbar pain depending on the disc affected by the hernia.
Plus we have:
- Central pain on the spine or fascia, if the hernia forms in the posterior and central portion of the disc (herniated median disc)
- Lateral pain if the hernia comes out in the postero-lateral region of the disc
- Pain radiated to the limbs if the hernia exits laterally and close to a nerve root.
Possible symptoms of disc herniation are:
- pain in the area of appearance of the hernia with the particularities described above
- increase in symptoms in a sitting position for dorsal and lumbar hernias, in movements towards the area of the herniated disc in the cervical tract
- improvement in lying position
- increased symptoms with stress, cough, sneeze, …
- The appearance of movement defects in the arms and legs, and the appearance of sphincter disorders (incontinence) are elements of ABSOLUTE URGENCY. In these cases we recommend immediate transfer to the emergency center
The predominant symptom in the case of posterolateral lumbar hernia is the pain radiated to the lower limb, also called sciatic pain or sciatica. We can talk about sciatica when we feel pain in the back of the buttock, thigh and leg down to the foot. If it is due to a disc problem, this pain may worsen in an upright and sitting position, while disappearing or noticeably reduced from lying down. Coughing or sneezing often increase symptoms. Analyzing which movements or positions increase or alleviate symptoms, together with specific tests that confirm or not instrumental examinations (first of all the MRI) is a fundamental step to identify the origin of this disorder.
The herniated disc is the result of the intervetrebral disc’s suffering. It may be due to age, too sedentary life, poor posture and even heavy professions. Furthermore, the herniated disc may be a long-term consequence of old trauma to the spine.
The diagnosis of a herniated disc begins with the physical examination of the spine by evaluating the site of pain. We also evaluate the sensitivity, strength and muscular health of the lower limbs and upper limbs, in search of signs that show damage to the nerves caused by the disc hernia.
It may be necessary, to complete the diagnosis, to proceed with radiographic tests such as CT and Magnetic Resonance (MRI).
Finding out the cause is essential for setting specific treatment.
Nervenia starts with the diagnosis and the doctor’s instructions and go to investigate the entire course of the nerve to find out where the irritation is hidden. Often the compressions that cause pain are multiple and must all be discovered and treated for truly effective treatment. Nerve mobility is restored through a particular type of passive mobilization called neurodynamics. Instead, nerve irritation is treated through deep nerve stimulation (DNS – Deep Nerve Stimulation) of neuromodulation, which uses a particular type of current specific to nerve tissue. In the specific case of a herniated disc, the protocol also includes the treatment of inflamed or painful tissues surrounding the nerve.
In addition to being an excellent conservative therapy of herniated disc, the treatment of Nervenia represents an important application in the post-surgical phase, where it is essential to prevent the formation of adherences that could entrap the nerve creating further disorders.