A herniated disc can be one of the most painful things you can experience in your lower back. It’s a serious condition where the cartilage between the bones in your joints tears, and bulges out. In some cases, the bulge can be big enough to occupy space, interfering with nerves or even your spinal cord.
Symptoms of your herniated disc can vary depending on how severe it is and how long ago it happened. An acute disc herniation will “lock” your back up, causing you to walk with a lean. It will be painful to bend forward or even go from sitting to standing. If it’s severe, you may feel numbness down your leg, even all the way into your foot. Chronic herniated discs will feel deep and achy in the back, hip joint, and even into your glute. Numbness into your legs may even persist.
In the absence of trauma, herniated discs are caused by too much compression in the lumbar spine. Think of your discs as a jelly donut. With enough compression, the jelly inside will shoot right out.
It is important to allow the inflammation to go down if you’re experiencing a herniated disc. You should avoid periods of prolonged sitting, bending over to pick things up, and any stretching until the acute symptoms subside. In the beginning, you can do more harm than good so take it easy. If acute symptoms, including numbness, persist for more than 10-14 days, immediately seek professional care.
After acute symptoms subside, you can try a couple of stretches at home to try and alleviate symptoms.Because compression is the root cause of herniated discs, cat/cow with a rockback is my go to. If the stretch causes pain, including increasing numbness or other symptoms into your leg, you should stop and seek professional care.
In most cases, a simple stretch will not be enough to alleviate symptoms. It’s likely that you have adhesion in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons surrounding the disc and a professional must remove them. At Wildcard, we remove adhesion in the lower back using shockwave therapy. We can also help the disc heal (or if it’s chronic, regenerate the disc) by using shockwave to kill senescent cells and stimulate STEM cell production (link shockwave article). The average patient experiences 50-75% relief within 3-6 months after 6-10 visits.
At Wildcard Spine and Sport, we specialize in fixing pain that’s lasted longer than six months, even if you’ve seen two or more providers. We are the only practitioners in the five boroughs certified to diagnose and remove adhesion. Click the button below or call the office today at 917-908-0055.