Perhaps your doctor has diagnosed you with a herniated disc. Or maybe you’ve read up online about your symptoms and you’ve concluded that you must have a disc injury.
So, now what?
Surprisingly, for approximately 85% of people who develop back pain, it is not possible to establish a specific structural or anatomical cause of the pain.This is defined as non-specific lower back pain. Only in rare cases of lower back pain is it possible to attribute it to discogenic pain (pain caused by disc injury).
In fact, oftentimes disc herniations or degeneration don't even necessarily cause pain. Imaging-studies have shown that disc injuries are also common in many people with no back pain.
Nonetheless, there are times when disc herniation does lead to pain and other symptoms. This is often true when the herniation affects the root of the nerve where it exits the spine.
The symptoms of a herniated disc include back pain that may radiate down the legs, pins and needles, tingling sensations as well as occasional decreased strength with the muscles of the lower extremities. However, these symptoms are not enough to make a complete diagnosis, as these symptoms can also be present due to other causes of back pain.
When it comes down to it, a herniated disc diagnosis has to be confirmed through an MRI. And although a herniated disc sounds daunting, individuals usually make a full recovery and most disc herniations actually heal on their own. Sometimes you have to make modifications to your everyday life and activities for some time until gradually returning to them.
Time and exercise-based treatment are crucial when it comes to recovering from a symptomatic disc herniation (and for many other types of back pain too). Exercise, in particular, is important in preventing future and recurring pain. In fact, you can actually strengthen the discs with progressive exercises in a balanced programme.
The Reach Physio Back Pain Programme provides tailored exercise activities so that you can confidently get back to feeling your best. And through safe and effective exercise, our app will help you achieve just that!