How do you fix low back pain from a slipped disc?
Hopefully after this series of posts, you’ll be a little less confused about what’s probably one of the most confusing aspects of low back pain: the famous “slipped disc“.
This ubiquitous moniker is a fairly common one.
It’s flashed in eye-catching headlines in low back pain articles. It can be heard reverberating through the halls in hospitals and overheard being discussed in great detail in locker rooms. It’s unfortunately (mis)used all the time by medical health professionals (physical therapists included) as either an umbrella category for a host of back pain issues or as a misnomer for the actual injury at hand.
In reality, there is no such thing as a slipped disc.
Slipped discs don’t actually exist.
So if the disc hasn’t slipped, what’s the problem?
In most cases, what’s happened is that the intervertebral disc has herniated to some degree and the ensuing tissue pathology has started to cause irritation on the local spinal nerve root.
So if you’re still with me after that last sentence, you get a gold star because that was the technical, mumbo-jumbo way of saying a part of your spine has bulged and is putting pressure on, or causing inflammation around, a nearby nerve. This then becomes the source of your pain, discomfort and dysfunction.
Over the next few blog posts, I’ll delve a little deeper into the “mysterious” world of disc bulges. In order to make this journey easier on you, here’s the agenda for the next few posts. As you’ll see, everything still follows the 3 key issues related to low back pain (which also happens to be the same 3 key issues related to most musculoskeletal issues!).
Part 1: Knowledge
In part one of this series we’ll spend some time on the function and anatomy of the spine. Having this knowledge is paramount in conquering this, or any other form, of low back pain. Knowing and understanding the structures that are involved will give you a better idea on how to protect them or help them do what they do best, heal.
Part 2: Motor Control
In part two of this series we’ll check out some of the motor control issues that lead to, or worsen disc bulges and their painful effects. This includes postures, positions, habits, muscle imbalances, mobility issues or movement patterns that all play a role in disc bulges, whether good or bad.
Part 3: De-conditioning
In the final part, we’ll talk de-conditioning and how you can reverse this process. And, as always, we’ll do all this while keeping your back happy and healthy, using the right kind of exercises, in the right way. Safely and efficiently.
So in the next post, we’ll get the knowledge base laid and then build up on it.
After everything is said and done, you should be better able to understand the true causes and potential cures for your disc herniation (formerly known as “slipped discs“).
Yours in movement.