A herniated disc occurs when a tear in the outer layer of a disc causes a portion of the disc to slip out. This can cause pain, numbness, and tingling sensations in the affected area. In some cases, physiotherapy is recommended to help manage and treat herniated discs. Let’s look at why this is so important.
What Causes Herniated Discs?
Herniated discs are caused by wear and tear on the spine due to aging, sports, or other activities that involve repetitive motions, or an injury such as a fall or car accident. Over time, these activities can cause the cushion between your vertebrae to weaken, leading to bulging discs that can eventually rupture and become herniated.
The Benefits of Physiotherapy for Herniated Discs
Physiotherapy helps strengthen muscles and improve flexibility in order to reduce pain and restore normal movement. It also helps relieve inflammation around the site of the herniation which can reduce pressure on nerves in the area and provide relief from symptoms such as numbness or tingling. Specific exercises may be prescribed by your physiotherapist depending on your condition to help alleviate pain and improve your range of motion. Additionally, physiotherapy can help improve posture which has been linked with improved spinal health overall.
How Long Does it Take for Physiotherapy to Help?
It depends on how severe your herniation is as well as how quickly you progress through your treatment program. Generally speaking, you should start seeing results within 6-12 weeks if you are consistent with your exercises and follow your therapist’s instructions carefully. Additionally, lifestyle modifications such as avoiding activities that put stress on your back may be necessary for the long-term management of herniated discs.
Herniated discs can be painful and debilitating but with proper treatment, they don’t have to be permanent conditions. Physiotherapy is an effective way to manage symptoms associated with herniated discs while helping restore strength, mobility, and overall spinal health over time. With consistency from both patient and therapist alike, most people find relief from their herniation within 6-12 weeks of therapy sessions combined with lifestyle changes that support their recovery efforts. If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc or suspect that you might have one, consult a physiotherapist for more information about treatments available for you specifically.
If you have any questions or would like to explore further, please book a free, no-charge online appointment with either myself. Eric Bowman, BSc, MSPT, PT, or one of the other physiotherapists at CARESPACE Health+Wellness in Kitchener and Waterloo. We are happy to listen and are here to help!