Lumbar disc herniation is a common low back disorder. It is one of the most common disorder that produces low back pain or leg pain in adults.A herniated disc is a displacement of disc material (nucleus pulposus or annulus fibrosis) away from the intervertebral disc space.
The initial treatment should be conservative, unless a patient has severe neurological disorder. Surgery is usually the last resort as it does not always result in expected results.
Physical therapy is the key in this disorder.
The most common cause is a degenerative process such as aging, the disc materials becomes less hydrated and weakens. This process will lead to progressive disc herniation that can cause symptoms.
The second most common cause is trauma.
Other causes include connective tissue disorders and congenital disorders such as short pedicles.
Disc herniation is most common in the low back followed by the neck.
A careful neurological examination can help in localizing the level of the compression. The sensory loss, weakness, pain location and reflex loss associated with the different level.
Physiotherapist roles are:
Ambulation and resumption of exercise
Improving the mobility of spine
Improving the functional activities
Education re maintaining healthy weight