Disc pain and sciatica can range from irritating to debilitating. Disc pain may cause Sciatica however sciatica can occur without disc irritation as explained in more detail below.
Disc bulge types
A disc bulge can happen anywhere along the spine but are more common in the neck and lower back. The 4 types of a disc bulge are (1) Disc protrusion, (2) Prolapsed disc, (3) Disc extrusion and (4) Disc sequestration.
Structure of a disc
The Disc is the fibrocartilage cushions between each spinal vertebrae from the neck to the lower back, which allow slight movement and shock absorbancy. The vertebra and discs are held together and stabilised by ligaments. The joints are further stabilised and moved by the muscles which are categorised into superficial, Intermediate and Deep muscles. Each Disc has 2 components: The outer ring called the ‘annular fibrosis’ and the inner section called the ‘nucleus pulposus’.
The sciatic nerve exits the spine from L4-S3 and runs through the buttock and down the leg to the big toe. It is the longest and widest single nerve in the body. There are several causes of sciatica – spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, vertebral compression, disc protrusion (bulge) or piriformis syndrome. Sciatica requires appropriate causal diagnosis in order to receive the appropriate treatment.
A diagnosis can be difficult without the appropriate training. As primary care physicians, each of our practitioners at Future Proof Care, are trained to perform a thorough history and examination, to gain the correct diagnosis for disc pain and sciatica. An MRI scan may be advised to confirm the the diagnosis.
Causes of disc pain
Patients have presented to our practice with disc pain from a range of causes: overuse, trauma or impact, mal-alignment, poor posture, ergonimics or repetitive strain, wear and tear or spondylolisthesis. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, patients are supported with treatment, if appropriate, and educated on how to manage and rehabilitate their presentation.
Patients may describe their disc presentation as some of the following. If you use any of these terms, book an appointment with one of our Practitioners at Future Proof Care, Kings Hill, West Malling.
- Unable to straighten back
- “Like toothache but in the spine”
- Pins and needles or “tingly”
- Difficulty going from sit to stand
- Difficulty going from laying to sitting
- Tight band across the lower back
- Very tight heavy buttocks
- Leg feels like it will give way
- Sharp shooting pain down one/both legs
- Difficulty turning over in bed
- “Cant do anything”
- Painful to laugh, cough or sneeze
- Unable to weight bear on one leg
- Tight calf muscles
- Pain and tightness in Achilles tendon
History and Examination
Once the ‘picture’ has been established via a thorough history, we will perform an examination to see how the disc or sciatica is presenting. We have many mechanical, orthopaedic, neurological and muscle tests which will allow us to arrive at a diagnosis with clinical clarity.
Why Choose us?
Not all Practitioners within the Chiropractic, Osteopathic or Physiotherapy professions treat disc pain both directly AND indirectly. They may focus more on the spine in isolation. At Future Proof Care, we treat the body as a whole, thereby getting better results quicker.
We first establish what your pain is, why you have it, what can be done about it and how to get your back to function as quickly as possible. We are honest and act with integrity, keeping you, your goals and needs at the focus of our care
Don’t let disc pain or sciatica stop you from daily function. Our practitioners go beyond their training in Chiropractic, Osteopathy. We continually attend seminars and stay up to date with the latest research and techniques, so our patients can get the best service.