Updated: Aug 15, 2021

They sponge, they absorb shock, They’re the cushions for the pushin’s between your vertebrae… INTERVERTEBRAL DISCS! *crowd roars in distance*

These bad boys are super important to healthy spinal mobility, function and all around being. They are the spongey pad of fibrocartilage between each vertebrae in your spinal column.

These discs do a number of things such as: -provide cushioning for the vertebrae and reduce the stress caused by impact. By keeping the vertebrae separated from each other, they act as a type of shock absorber for the spine. -help protect the nerves that run down the spine and between the vertebrae. -increase the flexibility of the spine and allow us to bend over at the waist without rubbing the vertebrae into each other.

Being the sweet little cushioning angels that they are, this also makes them very vulnerable and prone to injury such as buldging, herniated discs and degenerative disease.

The most common sites of these disc injuries are in the Lumbar spine.

So what happens when you have a disc injury?

Well, First, a large % of people already have-to an extent, bulging discs. The only time it starts to cause a problem is when it begins to irritate a nerve, and where you feel the pain is dependent on what level of your spine the disc is irritating the nerve. In many cases, it’s the Lumbar Spine that suffers giving you that sharp, shooting and stabbing pain potentially down into your hips, legs etc. (often referred to as Sciatica).

Disc Degenerative Disease (or DDD, also not necessarily a ‘disease’) is when the disc shrinks in height, and bulges out into the surrounding spinal canal. This can be due from wear and tear along with other musculoskeletal conditions.

So, what you need to do if you if you have been diagnosed with a disc injury!

>first, substantially decrease or stop training, jumping, running, lifting heavy object (or lifting at all) and try to avoid sitting at much as you can too! These will all aggravate that angry disc and only make it grumpier.

>go and see an allied health professional (or, you know… a Myo) to help decrease any muscle tension and tightness, restore some range of motion and mobility to your back.

>start stretching and doing some mobility work! Nice easy passive stretching will increase your range of motion in your lower back and only help improve your healing time.

>remember, movement is your friend! Slow, controlled movements (within comfort, no pain!) will help maintain the mobility in your lower back. As soon as you make the decision to stop everything and only rest is when your fascia and muscles will lose their mobility, causing a build-up of tension and tightness!

However-light at the end of the tunnel- one big thing to remember is, this sort of injury is one that will correct itself, but that means it does take TIME to fix. (A lot of you right now are going “Time?! What is this ‘time’ you speak of? Where do I get that? Is it on sale?!”)

It takes time, because discs don’t have a huge blood supply like muscles do, therefore it takes longer for healing cells to react to any damage done.

Be patient with your body, listen to what it’s telling you and respect it!

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