Often with a herniated disc, there is pressure on the nerve because the inner ring of the intervertebral disc protrudes outward a bit. Common symptoms with a herniated disc include radiation beyond the knee, tingling and sometimes a dull sensation. Research has shown that conservative management (physical therapy) for a herniated disc is just as effective as surgery.
A Hernia Nuclei pulposi is Latin for what is popularly known as a herniated disc. The back is made up of vertebral discs stacked on top of each other like a tower. Between these vertebrae are intervertebral discs. These discs are also called discus intervertebralis. The intervertebral disc consists of an inner and outer ring. The outer ring is somewhat stronger; the inner ring consists of water for 80%. Therefore, the intervertebral disc serves as a kind of shock absorber to absorb forces.
A herniated disc involves pressure or entrapment of the femoral or sciatic nerve. The nerves of the spine run through a tunnel, so to speak. Often with a herniated disc, there is pressure on the nerve because the inner ring of the intervertebral disc protrudes outward a bit. Because this piece of the disc presses against the nerve, it becomes irritated and an inflammatory reaction occurs. This inflammatory reaction causes signals to be disturbed and complaints to arise such as radiation and tingling.
Common symptoms with a nuclei pulposi disc include; radiation beyond the knee, tingling and sometimes a dull sensation. There may also be loss of strength in the leg on the affected side. What is an important feature with a herniated disc is that there is often more legpain present than back pain. Symptoms may also worsen with coughing, sneezing or squeezing and, in some cases, a diminished patellar reflex may be present.
To diagnose a herniated disc, an MRI scan is often performed. Based on the patient's story, it is often quickly clear whether a hernia is present. On the MRI scan, the doctor can see the severity of the hernia and how it should be treated. A physical therapist is also able to diagnose a herniated disc. The physiotherapists at Fysiofitaal do this using clear information from the interview and a number of specific tests. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a decision is made whether to refer the patient to the general practitioner.
Research has shown that conservative management (physical therapy) for a herniated disc is just as effective as surgery. Therefore, far fewer surgeries are performed than before. Whether it is necessary to perform surgery depends on several factors and is determined by a specialist. In most cases, symptoms diminish within 10 weeks. In the beginning, a herniated disc is treated with relative rest. After the period of rest, it is important to check on exercises and training to regain strength and mobility. The physical therapists at Fysiofitaal can help you with rehabilitation.
Do you suffer from a herniated disc, similar symptoms or other back pain? Make an appointment with one of our therapists and they will help you recover soon.