Herniated Disc

Various Disc Ailments IllustratedBetween the spinal vertebrae (back bones) there are small spongy discs that act like shock absorbers keeping the spine flexible and cushioning the bones in the spine. However, when one of the discs becomes damaged it may bulge or rupture allowing the interior gel like substance to leak out putting pressure on or even becoming adhered to other structures and this is referred to as a herniated disc. A herniated disc can happen in any part of your spine but the majority of them occur in the lumbar region or lower back or the cervical region or neck as there is more capacity for movement in these areas.  Herniated discs can be caused through aging as the discs dry out and are not as flexible, through chronic overloading of the discs or from an injury or direct trauma to the spine.

Hernia of the Disc, Slipped DiscIf a herniated disc is pressing on nerve ends or indeed the spinal cord then you will feel intense pain, numbness and weakness in the part of the body that the nerve serves. If the disc is herniated in the lower back then you may feel pain and numbness in your buttock and down the leg. This type of pain is commonly referred to as sciatica, which is the most common symptom of a herniated disc.  However, if you have a herniated disc that isn’t pressing on nerve ends then you may just get back ache or no pain at all.

Whilst massage will not treat the herniated disc directly, it does serve to reduce compressive forces on the disc and nerves and reduce fascial restrictions hypertonicity and trigger points in the surrounding musculature. It will encourage blood flow and oxygen to the muscles and tissue around the area thus maintaining muscular health reducing the aggravation and stress on the muscles, which consequently eases the symptoms.


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