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Lower back pain – Disc problems and Sciatica- George Morris Physiotherapist Wigan

 

A slipped prolapsed disc

Also referred to a prolapsed or herniated disc, the condition becomes “painful” when the disc cushioning the bones in the spine protrude outwards, hitting a nerve.

It can lead to lower back pain, tingling in the shoulders, back, arms, hands, legs, or feet, and/or neck pain.

This condition may also cause issues with bending or straightening your back.

Exercises to help recover from a slipped disc

Begin exercising in any way that feels comfortable; do not exert yourself so that you’re in pain, otherwise the slipped disc may take longer to heal.

The use of painkillers, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol, could help to manage feelings of pain.

However, the overuse of paracetamol is not recommended – it’s best to alternative paracetamol with ibuprofen.

Intervention might include a referral to a physiotherapist, who may give you some appropriate exercises or refer you for an MRI scan.

A doctor might prescribe a stronger painkiller, a steroid injection, or a muscle relaxant for short-term pain relief.

What causes a slipped disc?

  • Ageing
  • Exercising too hard
  • Lifting heavy objects the wrong way
  • Vibration from driving or operating machinery
  • Being inactive or overweight.

Sciatica

The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back to your feet and, when it’s irritated or compressed, pain can continue for up to six weeks.

The defining feature of sciatica is when your bottom, back of your leg, foot or toes feel a “stabbing, burning or shooting” sensation, or it can feel like pins and needles, numb, or weak.

Your symptoms may be worse when moving, sneezing or coughing.

“You may also have back pain, but it’s not usually as bad as the pain in your bottom, leg or foot.”

Intervention might include a referral to a physiotherapist, who may give you some appropriate exercises or refer you for an MRI scan.

Heat packs can be helpful in easing the pain, as can placing a firm cushion between your knees when sleeping on your side.

If you’re sleeping on your back, place a cushion under your knees to help relieve painful symptoms.