Spinal dysfunction including prolapsed discs, degeneration, sciatica, referred leg pain.
Prolapsed discs = “slipped” disc: protrusion of the pulpy inner material of an intervertebral disc causing pressure on an adjoining nerve roots, ligaments, etc. This can cause sciatica and if severe may damage the nerve functions.
The condition often results from sudden twisting and bending of the spine or from lifting too much weight.
Rest is the best thing to do in the acute phase. Ice packs can also reduce the nerve pain. Avoid twisting movements/positions, alternate rest with short active periods. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience a loss of control of the bladder or bowls.
Physiotherapy can help to ease the pressure on the nerves, to reduce muscular spasm and support the stability of the back in order to prevent relapses.
Degeneration: deterioration of the joint s due to wear and tear, inflammation and trauma. This can lead to stiffness or too much movement in some joints.
Physiotherapy can help to regain some movements, prevent further deterioration, and ease the irritation and pain.
Sciatica: irritation of the sciatic nerve. Pain is felt down the back and outer side of the thigh, leg and foot. This can be caused by a prolapsed disc but also by repetitive strain of the nerve (due to bad posture) or blocked facet joints in the lumbar spine.
Physiotherapy can help to identify the cause of the irritation, mobilise and regenerate the nerve, strengthen the back muscles, and teach you how to avoid movements or activities, which could lead to relapses.
Referred leg pain: this can be a symptom of sciatica but can also be caused by trigger points in the gluteal region (buttocks), hip or knee joint.
The physiotherapist identifies the reason of for the pain and selects the most appropriate treatment for example deep medical massage, stretching, traction, or manual therapy.