Intervertebral disc protrusion develops as part of one of the stages of osteochondrosis. Bulging of the intervertebral disc wall compresses nerve endings in the spinal column, which causes neck, back or lower back pains.
When the outer layer of the intervertebral disc flakes or rips and its contents (nucleus pulposus) spread beyond the disc, disc protrusion turns into an intervertebral hernia. The hernia compresses the nerve roots of the spinal canal and the pain of varying intensity occurs in that part of the body, for which the impacted nerve is responsible.
Schmorl’s node is another type of intervertebral hernia – the disease is known for congenital changes, when the distance between the upper and lower vertebrae is so small that the disc is pushed inside the upper or lower vertebra. By the age of 30 the Schmorl’s node can normalize.
Injuries of the intervertebral disc with the rupture of its outer layer are most typical for the lumbar spine, less typical for the cervical spine, and very rarely occur in the thoracic spine. Hernias develop from the respective protrusions of the spine:
- protrusion of the cervical spine (C1-C7 vertebrae) is often accompanied by headaches;
- protrusion of the thoracic spine (T1-T12 vertebrae), burning sensations, pain, lumbago in the spine may occur; and
- protrusion of the lumbar spine (L1-L5 vertebrae). Protrusion typically occurs in the lumbar spine and is characterized by stiffness and cramps in the lower back.
Treatment options for protrusion and herniation of the spine at the Institute of Vertebrology and Rehabilitation
Regardless of location of the disc herniation, professionals at the Institute of Vertebrology and Rehabilitation manage to treat 95% of all cases without surgical interference. Such an effective outcome is the result of the complex treatments prescribed by our physicians for every patient on the case-by-case basis, depending on the stage and degree of development of a disc herniation.
Acute protrusions and disc herniation are treated at the Institute of Vertebrology and Rehabilitation with elimination of pain, including injection of medicines, if necessary.
The next stage of treatment is the use of therapeutic massage and physiotherapy (electrotherapy, magnetic therapy, laser therapy). To return the bulging intervertebral disc into its regular position and eliminate entrapment of the nerve roots, our experts use spinal stretching techniques with special decompression devices and manual therapy.
After the main course of treatment for protrusions and hernias without surgical interference, patients undergo treatment courses under supervision of our rehabilitation professionals at the Center for Spine Strengthening and Joint Rehabilitation. Especially for the period of recovery, the doctors at the Institute of Vertebrology and Rehabilitation develop individual physical exercises routine with the use of the David high-tech medical training stimulators for every patient.
The result of such comprehensive approach to the treatment of protrusions and herniation of the spine is the improved blood circulation, mineral nutrition and metabolism in the intervertebral discs, which helps with the natural rehabilitation of the intervertebral discs.