In this article, we will provide you with more details about this condition, the symptoms by which it can be recognized, potential complications, and treatment options for disc protrusion.
What is disc protrusion?
These are the discs located between the vertebrae that connect them. Intervertebral discs are filled with fluid and serve to maintain the spine's mobility and protect the spinal nerves passing through the vertebrae. These discs absorb the pressures that can be directed toward the spine due to various activities and movements.
Besides disc protrusion, the term disc herniation is often mentioned.
However, these two terms refer to different things; disc protrusion is actually a subtype of disc herniation. While disc herniation (disc hernia) is a form of damage to intervertebral discs that can occur due to ageing, obesity, genetics, natural wear and tear, or injury, disc protrusion is considered a type of spinal disc herniation.
Disc protrusion treatment and recovery at the Fizionova Center
For the treatment of disc protrusion, patients have access to both surgical and non-surgical approaches.
At FIZIONOVA Centre, we strive to include a variety of treatment approaches that promote recovery and potentially avoid surgical intervention unless individual cases require it. For the management of cervical disc protrusion, both surgical and non-surgical treatment approaches are available. In all other cases where non-invasive treatment is possible, our Fizionova Center offers individual physical therapy treatments, including massages, exercises, magnetic and electrotherapy, and protocols involving combinations of different therapies to facilitate faster healing and recovery.
For more detailed information, if you suspect or have a confirmed diagnosis of disc protrusion or any similar degenerative spinal condition, we recommend calling us and scheduling an appointment at our centre. Our doctors will be able to assess your condition after an examination and propose an individual program and procedures that will work best for your case. If you desire a non-invasive and comprehensive approach to your specific condition, Fizionova Center is the best solution for you.
Call us today and schedule the first available appointment that suits you at phone number: 011/21 00 588.
Disc Protrusion - Symptoms
In many cases, disc protrusion can occur without symptoms or symptoms may only appear several months or years later. It's important to note that disc protrusion does not necessarily mean that the disc will continue to age and undergo continuous degeneration. Many people can continue with their normal lives despite disc protrusion without experiencing pain; different spinal disc changes are a natural part of ageing.
However, if your case involves pain, weakness, or restricted mobility due to disc protrusion, the complications that may be causing these symptoms can include:
- Nerve Compression - Nerve compression can cause lower back pain, neck pain, and leg pain radiating down the legs, and can also lead to issues like numbness, problems with standing and walking, as well as tingling and numbness radiating down the arms or legs. Nerve compression can occur when disc protrusion narrows the space around the nerves and puts pressure on them.
- Discogenic Pain - These pains typically refer to discomfort and pain in the lower back due to various degenerations of the intervertebral discs. If you continue activities that put pressure on your lower back, discogenic pain can worsen.
- Disc Herniation- If there is continuous strain and damage to the disc, it can result in disc herniation, which can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, leading to pain, weakness, and numbness.
Causes that can lead to disc protrusion
As mentioned earlier, disc protrusion occurs when part of the disc, including the fluid and the fibrous ring in the central part of the disc, bulges. This reduces the space between two vertebrae and compresses the spinal nerve.
The most common causes that can lead to disc protrusion include:
- Lack of physical activity
- Inadequate nutrition
- Genetic predisposition
Prevention and Recovery after Disc Protrusion Treatment
If the treatment of a bulging disc is neglected, there is a real risk that it will progress and worsen into disc herniation or long-term back and/or neck pain. As mentioned earlier, many cases of disc protrusion can be successfully treated non-operatively, but patients are also recommended to take the following steps during and after treatment:
- Rest and Hot/Cold Compresses
The first thing most doctors will recommend to a patient undergoing disc protrusion therapy is to reduce strenuous activities that can put pressure on the spine, get plenty of rest in a lying position, and use hot/cold compresses to alleviate inflammation.
- Pain Medication
Your doctor will likely recommend specific medications to relieve pain and inflammation caused by disc protrusion. If you find that the prescribed medications are not strong enough, it is best to consult your doctor for alternative options that will work better for your case.
To ensure that disc protrusion does not recur after treatment, it is necessary to regularly perform exercises that strengthen the muscles of the back, contributing to proper posture and spinal support.
In order to maintain a healthy and strong back, certain lifestyle changes are also necessary. To begin with, achieving and/or maintaining a healthy body weight is important. A healthy body weight reduces the risk of unnecessary strain on the spine and joints. Many patients believe that physical therapy and exercise are necessary only during treatment. However, even after successful therapy, it is important to incorporate regular exercise and stretching into daily life. Whether it's cycling, brisk walking, or swimming, maintaining an active lifestyle will contribute to a healthy spine and reduce the risk of recurring degenerative conditions that you have treated.
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SCHEDULE A PHYSIATRIST'S EXAMINATION
Dr Jelena Kluz-Đurđević, a specialist in physical medicine
After a conversation with the patient, Dr. Jelena will conduct an examination to obtain a more comprehensive view of your health status, helping to determine whether it's an injury or a diagnosis.
The examination lasts for 30 minutes and includes: