Do you suffer with low back pain including referral down the back of the leg? Are you concerned you may have a herniated disc but aren’t really sure?
What is a herniated disc?
A herniated disc or slipped disc as they’re more commonly known are not actually that common. They occur when the disc soft material starts to bulge through the outer layer of the disc between the intervertebral bodies.
The characteristics of a herniated disc or slipped disc are often traumatic. That means they follow a period or an event of excessive compressive force. So maybe a fall from a ladder, maybe a fall from a bicycle, sometimes slipping on ice and landing on your bottom causes traumatic compression.
Through excessive compression of the spine the disc gets squashed and the soft material inside the disc starts to bulge through the side. In severe cases the disc bursts and the disc material comes out.
What happens then is that the material expands and the disc bulge takes up space and it presses on the nerve root at the level that the disc occurs. It causes inflammation, irritation and pain.
If you’re experiencing pain down the back of the leg and it’s not been traumatic in origin then it’s more likely to be muscular. It could be a condition called Piriformis Syndrome. So, the important thing to do if you’re getting low back pain with some referral down the back of the leg or into the buttocks is to find the correct cause first. You can do this by using our pain assessment feature for free.
How can I treat a herniated disc?
The secret to good treatment is always the correct assessment first, so my advice would be to check your symptoms first with our pain assessment tool and complete the online questionnaire. The intelligent software will analyse the data and provide a likely cause for your pain.