Disc Injury: What is it?
An injury to the rubbery cartilage that sits between 2 spinal bones in the lower back, usually at level 4 or 5 located just above your pelvis.
Disc injuries are commonly describe as a “ruptured disc, a bulging disc, or a slipped disc.”
However, a disc injury is actually a small tear in the cartilage.
Apart from acute low back pain, disc injuries may also refer pain, tingling or burning into your left or right buttock and hamstrings, sometimes reaching as far as the foot.
This referred pain is called sciatica, and is due to irritation of your sciatic nerve.
What Causes A Disc Injury?
Lifting, bending, bending and twisting, coughing and sneezing can all trigger a disc injury.
The thing to understand with disc injuries is this:
Discs wear out virtually silently over years, but crack suddenly & very, very painfully.
Think back to when you’ve felt an aching or stiff lower back over the years, as these were probably the first warning signs that your discs were under too much stress.
So, although the injury appears to happen suddenly, a disc injury is the result of a long term weakness in your lower back finally “giving out”.
Years of sitting at a desk, years of manual labour on the tools and old sporting injuries are your usual suspects.
Best Treatment Options for a Disc Injury
Myotherapy, acupuncture, pilates, yoga, gym, physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, are all potential options to help recover from an injured disc.
Whichever option you choose, make sure it’s addressing the cause of the disc injury and not just treating your symptoms. For example, anti-inflammatory & pain killing medication, including cortisone injections, won’t repair faulty joint and muscle function in the long term.
And while Spinal Surgery is an option, it’s irreversible, so please, please think long and hard over this one. There is very little evidence to indicate that disc surgery is more successful than your less invasive options listed earlier.