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Disc injury

What is a disc injury?

  • The discs throughout the spine have three primary functions: They act as a shock absorbers in the spine, positioned between each bony vertebra. They act as tough ligaments that hold the vertebrae of the spine together. They are cartilaginous joints that allow for slight mobility in the spine.


Classification of injury types:

A disc injury can progress through the various stages 

  • Bulging Disc = Early stage (degeneration) where the disc has been strained and is pushed out of its normal functioning shape. 

  • 2. Prolapsed Disc = The bulge become more prominent and the centre of the disc (nucleus pulposis) begins to spill out to the edge of the outer fibres. 

  • 3. Herniated (extrusion) Disc = occurs when the outer fibres (annulus) ruptures and allows the nucleus pulposis to completely spill out 

  • 4. Sequestered Disc = Can result if disc material breaks off and intrudes of the surrounding areas. 

Causes of Disc injury:

  • Wear and tear via excessive movement patterns such as flexion & rotation of the spine

  • Injury trauma or excessive impact

Symptoms of Disc injury

  • Cervical  - Weakness , referred pain in upper arms ( deltoids, biceps & wrist extensors ) 

  • Thoracic - Pain in upper back, chest, abdomen,  Pain with coughing, sneezing laughing  

  • Lumbar - Severe back pain ( often on one side ), Pain with prolonged sitting and standing. Can also be associated with referred pain in the legs from the gluteals to the foot (sciatica ), muscle spasms, muscle weakness and atrophy, 



  • Specific exercise intervention ( inner unit muscular retraining ) 

  • Physical therapy to maintain pain free range of movement 

  • Anti-inflammatory medication ( non steroidal NSAID's) 

  • Pain management strategies for Activity's fo daily living (ADL’s) 

  • Surgery 

  • Injection for pain relief and more specific anti-inflammation delivery ( Epidural, cortisone )

Global Rehabilitation Network

  • We provide a complete program of 12 consecutive weeks of instructions on how to conservatively manage this injury

  • We provide a global network of therapists that can chat remotely via our Telehealth services to guide you through the process week by week for minimal cost.

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