Could your back pain be caused by a herniated disc? Here’s what to look for

Could your back pain be caused by a herniated disc? Here’s what to look for

How do you know whether you have a herniated disc or it’s just good old back pain? One telltale sign can be where the pain is located. With a herniated disc, the pain is typically located in the lumbar spine. That’s the lower part of your backbone. The pain may radiate from the back to the thighs, buttocks or calves. A herniated disc can cause pain whether you’re resting or active. Even a cough or sneeze can cause pain as it puts pressure on pinched nerves.

How to Tell if You Have a Herniated Disc

A good way to determine if you have a herniated disc is to visit your physician. Likely, your doctor will do a physical exam and may even take an x-ray. While an x-ray won’t show a herniated disc, it can help rule other causes of your pain like a fracture. If your doctor recommends having an MRI, this test can show detailed 3-D images of the spinal cord and pinpoint if there is a herniated disc. It also shows which nerves are affected.

The purpose of spinal discs is to act as a shock absorber when you engage in daily activities, like walking, sitting, lifting and running. Each disc has a soft inner ring and a tough outer ring. When the outer ring is injured, the inner ring may protrude out and cause pain. Common causes of a herniated disc include weak muscles, age, being overweight or leading a sedentary lifestyle. And if you turn suddenly, you can also incur a herniated disc.

Physiotherapy and Herniated Disc

A physiotherapist will have you engage in specific exercises to ease the pain and strengthen the muscles associated with a herniated disc. Physiotherapy programs also include ultrasound therapy, deep tissue massage, ice and heat treatment, stretching exercises, electrical muscle stimulation and aerobic exercises. Deep tissue massage uses pressure to relieve spasms and muscle tension due to a herniated disc. Heat therapy helps increase nutrients and oxygen to the affected area for healing. Cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Active treatments like exercise for a herniated disc focus on core stability, flexibility and muscle strengthening. Keep in mind that core muscles help support the spine. Learning proper stretching and flexibility techniques will help your body move easier. Muscle strengthening creates a solid support system for the spine and helps relieve pain.

A physiotherapist will also teach your self-care principles and home exercises. This way, you can prevent further injury and enjoy the long-term effects of physiotherapy. With physiotherapy, you’re an active participant in your recovery.

“Herniated discs can be very painful injuries that impact your day-to-day life. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to get surgery to repair your herniated disc. In fact, studies have shown that 90% of patients were able to recover by pursuing non-surgical courses of treatment like physiotherapy.” That percentage is a testament to how effective physiotherapy is in the treatment of a herniated disc.

Contact NRG Physiotherapy today!

5 Ways to Relieve Back and Neck Pain

There are common causes of both back pain and neck pain. Changes in the spine’s anatomy often cause back pain. There may be lumbar disc herniation, lumbar degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis or sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Disc herniation occurs when the gel-like interior of the disc leaks outward and irritates the nerve roots. It typically causes a stabbing pain in the back of the legs and back pain. Wear and tear on the spinal discs can lead to lumbar degenerative disc disease. It causes low-level back pain. Osteoarthritis is a wear and tear of the facet joints in the spine. Friction can cause a pinched nerve from osteoarthritis. And when the sacroiliac joint has too much or too little motion, it can cause lower back pain.

Muscle strain is a common cause of neck pain. It can be due to sleeping in awkward positions, whiplash or poor posture. Other common causes of neck pain include cervical osteoarthritis, cervical degenerative disc disease and cervical herniated disc. Back pain and neck pain can range from moderate to severe. If you’re experiencing back pain or neck pain, call NRG Athletes Physiotherapy today to see how physiotherapy can help you live a pain-free life. Get back and neck pain relief with help from our skilled physiotherapists.

How Physiotherapy Can Deliver Pain Relief for Back Pain and Neck Pain

Physiotherapy is a common treatment for pain relief in the cervical area and lumbar area. The goals and benefits of physiotherapy for neck pain and back pain include:

  1. Improving neck and back range of motion- By engaging in flexibility exercises in the neck and back area, you’ll be able to move easier.
  2. Reducing pain and stiffness in the back and neck area- Passive treatments by a physiotherapist will accelerate healing and lessen pain.
  3. Developing strengthening of the neck and back- With specific physical exercises, you’ll be building up the muscles in the neck and back areas.
  4. Developing strategies to prevent neck pain and back pain from recurring- Learn proper body mechanics to avoid future injury.
  5. Improving the quality of life- With physiotherapy, you’ll be able to return to your regular routine must faster.

The two forms of physiotherapy are passive treatments and active treatments. Passive treatments for neck pain include electrotherapy, ice packs, ultrasound, massage therapy and heat therapy. These treatments help reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness. Active physiotherapy treatments include exercises and stretches. By engaging in active exercises with a physiotherapist, strength and flexibility are improved in the neck, and the muscles become less painful. In addition, stress on the cervical spine is reduced.

Like physiotherapy treatments for neck pain, back pain physiotherapy treatments include both passive and active methods for the patient. “Current medical literature suggests moderate to strong evidence supporting the benefits of physiotherapy’s role in reducing neck pain and back pain and improving range of motion.”

How Back Pain and Neck Pain Are Diagnosed

If you’re experiencing neck or back pain, a doctor will perform a physical exam and may even order X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI provides pictures of blood vessels, ligaments, tendons and soft tissues. It can provide the root cause of your back pain or neck pain. It’s quite common for a doctor to recommend physiotherapy to treat neck and back pain

Back and neck pain can lead to a loss of productivity. It’s a common cause for disability. It can also lead to nerve damage, depression and even weight gain. If you’re suffering from back pain or neck pain, it’s time to take action. Get neck pain relief with the help of a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist will develop a personalized treatment plan just for you.

Why suffer when physiotherapy can give you pain relief? Contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA today to see how physiotherapy can help you live a pain-free life.

Suffering with Back Pain? Check Your Posture!

In one longitudinal study, back pain accounted for more than 3 percent of all emergency room visits between 2004 and 2008. It is also estimated that more than 25 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, many with a disability that prevents them from doing normal daily tasks like working and caring for themselves or others. From muscle aches to limited mobility, those suffering from back pain will tell you that they will do anything to make it stop. Fortunately, physiotherapy may be the answer. Call NRG Athletes Physiotherapy today to speak to our physiotherapists and find out if physiotherapy can help you eliminate your back pain for good.

What Is Causing My Back Pain?

One of the most common causes of back pain is your posture. Chances are, you just sat up a little straighter after you read that, right? When we talk about posture we often think about how we sit or stand. While sitting or standing still is certainly an important part of it, your posture affects how you walk, run, jump, lift, work, and perform nearly every daily activity in your life. What’s even more confusing, your posture while you sit at work may be impeccable, but your posture when you stand up out of your chair, get out of bed, or even sleep is different. Which leads us to the next question…

What Causes Poor Posture?

Many people think poor posture is caused by laziness. We get so wrapped up in thinking about other things that we stop paying attention to how we position our bodies. In reality, poor posture is more of a physical problem than a mental one. Sure, we need to be reminded to check our posture periodically throughout the day, but physical weakness is often associated with holding our bodies in ways that cause back pain.

We know what you’re thinking. “But I work out! I’m not physically weak!”

Even if you exercise regularly, poor posture is caused by weakness of the stabilizing muscles in your core, not weakness in your arms and legs. Muscles in your abdomen, buttocks, back, shoulders, and pelvic floor all contribute to your posture. If even one of these is weak, your core is weakened and your posture suffers.

How Physiotherapy Helps

You may not immediately think about working with a physiotherapist to achieve better posture. You should, though. A physiotherapist is a movement expert, one that can identify weak areas and help you strengthen them. They can also help you increase flexibility, mobility, stability, and balance as well as help you relieve your back pain without pain medication.

Initially, your physiotherapist will identify areas of weakness that are causing your back pain through functional testing and diagnostic imaging. They will then create a customized physiotherapy plan targeted at improving your posture in all of your daily activities and strengthening weak core muscles. In the end, physiotherapy will help relieve your back pain, improve your posture and help you be stronger in all aspects of your life.

If you are experiencing back pain, your posture may be to blame. Fortunately, our physiotherapist is ready to help you move toward a pain-free future. Find out for yourself why physiotherapy is one of the most effective ways to address your back pain and start on the road to recovery. Contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA today for a consultation. And sit up straight already!