Disc Herniation Treatment downtown Toronto
What is a Disk Herniation?
Spinal disks, also known as intervertebral disks, are located between each vertebrae of the spine. These disks act as shock absorbers, while also allowing the spinal column to be flexible. The disk is made of 2 parts. The inner part is called the nucleus pulposus, which is softer more jelly like component. The outer part is referred to as the annulus fibrosis, which is tougher. A herniated disk is when there is a tear in the outer portion of the disk, which allows the inner part to slip through the crack and leak out. Due to the fact that nerves surround the spinal column, when the leak slips out it can irritate the spinal chord and surrounding nerves which cause pain. Even if nerves are not irritated, the leak may release chemical mediators that cause inflammation and result in extreme pain. Most herniated disks happen in the lumbar spine (the lower back), although they can happen anywhere along the spine including the thoracic (mid back) and cervical (neck).
What Causes Disc Herniations:
A common cause of disk herniations is age, as you get older your chances of herniating a disk increases. This is because the outer portion of the disk starts to degenerate and it most prone to tears, which allows the inside of the disk to leak out. Lifting heavy objects is another common cause of how disk herniations happen. Most people lift heavy object by leaning over and using their back to lift, which can cause trauma to the spine because it cannot handle the weight and pressure. The correct way to lift is using your legs to handle the majority of the weight while bending down or getting up, and carry the weight close your body with your arms so you are not straining your spine. A person who has a family history of herniated or bulging disks may also be at an increased risk of herniating a disk. Heavier people may also be at a greater risk of developing a herniated disk due to the increased weight on the lumbar spine.
Signs and Symptoms of Disk Herniation:
- Pain in the low back and buttocks region that radiates down the legs, or pain in the neck or mid back that radiates down the arms
- Numbness or tingling in the legs or feet, or hands and arms
- Weakness of the muscle of the lower limbs or upper limbs
Should I have Surgery?
Most experts advocate restraint because of the risk of complications and typically moderate benefits associated with surgery, therefore surgery is recommended only as a last resort, and based on clinical symptoms rather than diagnostic imaging.
Physiotherapy Treatment for Lumbar Disk Herniation
Physical therapists can work with you and prescribe exercises and stretches that are beneficial in decreasing pain and reducing the neurological symptoms.
Spinal Decompression Therapy works by pulling the body in opposite directions and creating a create negative intradiscal pressure at the site of the herniated disk for extended periods. The negative intaradiscal pressure creates an environment that promotes the rehydration, reoxygenation, and nutrification of the bulging or herniated disks.
For more information on Herniated Disk treatment or to book an appointment please contact the friendly staff at Ace Physio today by calling 416 900 6653