The Importance Of Physiotherapy In Treating A Disc Prolapsed

The Importance Of Physiotherapy In Treating A Disc Prolapsed


A ‘disc prolapsed’ or a ‘prolapsed disc’ is the medical phrase used to describe a slipped disc. Most people will know someone who has experienced having a slipped disc and it is indeed a very painful condition.


Conservative i.e. non surgical treatments for a prolapsed disc tend to focus on painkillers, analgesics and physiotherapy. However, many patients do not embrace the exercises that are prescribed for them and there can be reluctance to complete exercises at home, since patients can feel that they are in so much pain already and they are fearful that exercising will exacerbate their condition.


This is in fact a groundless fear, because the role of the physiotherapist is to help restore the patient to health and ensure that the situation does not re-occur. In fact physiotherapists play a vital role in the treatment process in three main ways:


Reducing Inflammation and Pain


In the initial stages of physiotherapy, exercises and movements or even massage may be used to ensure that the inflammation and pain that is being experienced is reduced and this is an important element of the treatment process. Exercises can be done that effectively ‘shrink’ the size of the prolapse and enables the disc to heal itself.


Without the intervention of a physiotherapist, the disc will take longer to heal and the pain will be less quick to subside, so a physiotherapist should be seen as soon as possible.


Educational Advice


A physiotherapist will also give advice about how to undertake certain activities or sports in such a way that the back is supported and kept safe, so that there is no injury or trauma to discs or the lower back in general. 


Advice may also be given about posture and stance, as well as how to sit so that the spine is supported. Patients may also be given advice about working practices and educated as to why certain ways of lifting or carrying items may result in a relapse.


The role of the physiotherapist is therefore preventative as well as treating the immediate condition and so there is a great deal to be gained by ensuring that any advice offered by the physiotherapist is adhered to.


Re-Training Role


The final aim of any physiotherapy programme is to ensure that the joints in the back are mobilised and that stiffness in the joints is reduced. This concentrates on helping restore movement and flexibility within the spine itself. Although this may not sound important, this element of physiotherapy is actually incredibly important because it ensures that recovery is speedy and that deterioration within the spine and muscles is held at bay.


So the physiotherapist will try hard to ensure that you have a specific programme with all the correct advice that will mean that you will not have to endure further slipped discs and your spine (along with joints and muscles) will all be kept in good working order and the risk of future back problems is minimised.


Thus although attending physiotherapy sessions will not yield immediate results in the same way that medication can (sometimes) provide, it is incredibly important within the treatment process for a disc prolapsed and it is also perhaps the most important weapon in the fight against the situation re-occurring in the future!






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