Osteopathic treatment for slipped disc

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Mechanism of development of a herniated disc

In the literature, most cases of herniated discs occur due to an accident, a fall, lifting a heavy load, an awkward movement, or prolonged sitting.


Other causes can include the normal aging process, degeneration, or genetic factors. Often, it is a combination of trauma and degeneration that is crucial for the onset of early disc degeneration.


Signs and symptoms of a slipped disc

A herniated disc in the lower spine can lead to a variety of symptoms. Herniated discs are not always diagnosed immediately. Patients often present with undefined pain.


In some cases, a herniated disc can occur without pain or noticeable symptoms, as the nucleus pulposus may extrude without pressing on soft tissues or nerves, thus causing no symptoms.


The most typical symptoms associated with a herniated disc are acute lower back pain and radiating pain, often caused by the compression of the L3-L4 or L5-S1 (sciatic) nerve roots.


Radiating pain can be accompanied by muscle weakness, paralysis, paresthesia, and diminished reflexes.


In severe cases, a herniated disc can cause symptoms such as sudden weakness of the lower extremities, paresthesia of the lower extremities and perineum, sexual impotence, urinary retention, and constipation.


Therapy


Whether and to what extent a herniated disc can regenerate and thus heal remains a subject of ongoing research. However, recent studies indicate a potential for regeneration and healing.


Targeted and Adequate Rehabilitation

A targeted and adequate rehabilitation program is crucial for disc regeneration. This process requires significant effort and discipline from patients, as the complete renewal of an injured disc takes a long time. The major challenge for patients is not falling back into old habits. After the pain subsides, there is a risk of recurrence.


Rehabilitation Aligned with Wound Healing Stages

The often lengthy rehabilitation process should align with the physiological stages of wound healing. Avoiding further and constant damage to the newly formed tissue from overstrain or improper loading is essential.


Frequent Position Changes and Active Posture

Frequent changes in position to regularly relieve and load the spine, along with maintaining an active posture and possibly correcting posture, promote physiological stimuli to the discs.


Strengthening Muscles and Improving Coordination

Often, strengthening the muscles and improving coordination is necessary, as these may have deteriorated or weakened due to unilateral strain or poor posture.


Therapists’ Role

Therapists understand the anatomical and physiological conditions and are aware of the therapeutic options available for injuries or issues. We are happy to advise and guide you regarding training and exercise possibilities.

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