Herniated disc, nerve compression and radiculoneuropathy - Description and treatment
Are you affected by back pain? Does the pain shoot up to the limbs? Then you may suffer from herniated disc, and due to its pressure and other degenerative changes to the spine on the nerve root, it can develop into the so-called radiculoneuropathy.
Warning:Do not use this or any other article on the internet to diagnose yourself. Only physicians can correctly diagnose patients. Do not postpone seeing your physician to resolve your health issues in time.
Characteristics of herniated discs, nerve compression and radiculoneuropathy, and their causes
A herniated disc occurs when part of a disc slips into the inner spinal canal through a rupture in its perimeter. This slipped part either irritates or compresses nerves.
Should the herniated disc compress a nerve root, it can cause severe back pain. This pain can be accompanied by a tingling sensation and will worsen while coughing, moving or sitting for long periods.
Radiculoneuropathy develops as a result of pressure created by a herniated disc or osteophytes or through the effect of other degenerative changes to the spine affecting nerve roots.
The area to where pain spreads is dependent on exactly where the pressure is. Radiculoneuropathy also gives rise to a range of vertebrogenic pain syndromes, all of which are dominated by spinal pain, such as:
acute cervical spine pain,
chronic cervical spine pain,
cervicocranial syndrome – accompanied by pain shooting down the head,
cervicovestibular syndrome – a state in which a blocked cervical spine causes vertigo,
cervicobrachial syndrome – upper limb pain, where the root cause lies in the lower part of the cervical spine,
radicular syndrome with symptoms manifesting in the upper limb,
thoracic spine pain,
chronic pain in the lumbar area and lower back,
radicular syndrome with symptoms manifesting in the lower limb.
The most significant cause of herniated disc is gradual wear and tear, weakening, and the strain of everyday life.
Other factors can contribute as well:
little physical activity,
improper physical strain on the spine while working,
excessive and unsuitable sports.
Herniated disc, nerve compression and radiculoneuropathy treatment – rid yourself of the pain
Specific methods of treatment are chosen by the physician based on individual symptoms and cause.
In the acute stage, bedrest is recommended, and pain is mitigated through administering analgesics. Muscle relaxants are also administered in order to relax muscles in the affected area of the spine.
Local injection and corticoids can be administered. The affected area of the spine is temporarily fixed by a neck brace or lumbar support.
Muscle disbalance – uneven use of muscle groups.
Cervicocranial syndrome – disorder of the cervical spine where pain shoots up to the head.
Cervicobrachial syndrome – pain in the upper limb, which has its cause in the lower part of cervical spine.
Cervicovestibular syndrome – a condition where blocked cervical spine causes vertigo.
To achieve a more significant pain-soothing and muscle-relaxing effect, physical therapy (electric therapy, magnetic therapy, ultrasound, diathermy, etc.) is used in order to renew blood circulation, reduce pain and eliminate swelling, which reduces the pressure on the radicular nerve.
After treating the acute stage, physiotherapy is immediately initiated in order to help with muscle imbalance (uneven use of muscle groups). Persistent serious cases call for surgical intervention.
Within the comprehensive rehabilitation treatment, low-frequency pulsed magnetic therapy has its place, as it targets the symptoms of herniated disc that bother patients the most. It utilises the analgesic, muscle-relaxing and healing effects with the support of the regenerative and anti-inflammatory effects. Magnetic therapy relaxes spasms, mitigates pain, eliminates swelling, reduces inflammatory processes, promotes metabolic conditions in tissues, stimulates healing and brings general relief.
Home applications are a huge convenience which allows the patient to continue intensive rehabilitation at home, out of hospital facilities.
The possibility to start treatment early in a new issue and the opportunity to perform long-term daily maintenance applications is also a big benefit.