As a massage therapist and anatomy instructor, I receive many questions about herniated discs and lower back pain. This amazing 4 minute video gives a view inside our bodies with 3D animation. See the anatomy behind how our vertebra stack on top of one another, how they move around the spinal cord and how the spinal nerves exit the spinal canal.
Watch how your spine moves when bending forward. Notice the increase in pressure on the vertebral disc when sitting without back support. Traumatic injury or force can cause the disc to protrude, weakening its outer wall called the annulus fibrosis. As your disc weakens, a disc bulge is more likely. A bulging disc can push on the spinal nerves or spinal cord. Over time or with enough force, a disc herniation can occur where the inside of the disc, called the nucleus pulposis, protrudes thru the outside wall.
Common symptoms of a weak, bulging or herniated disc are pain, numbness or weakness. These symptoms may be in your lower back or they could travel to your hip, buttocks or down your leg, especially if your disc is pushing on your spinal nerves. Often, the disc protrudes toward the back and to one side or the other (posterior & lateral) causing symptoms on that side of the body.
There are many treatment options for lumbar disc injuries. The video outlines a few and we often recommend rest first and then ice. While we strongly recommend you see your medical doctor, we also know from experience that massage therapy can help…when applied properly.
If you have back pain and have a question about how we can help you, we encourage your comments below. You can also view our injury page on Massage Therapy for Back Pain.