What is a IVDP?
IVDP-Intervertebral disk prolapse
A herniated disk is a disk that has bulged out from its proper place in your back. Disks are small, circular cushions between the bones of the spine (vertebrae). Normally, disks act as shock absorbers to cushion your vertebrae from each other as you move. When a disk is herniated, it may press on nearby nerves and cause severe pain. Sometimes a herniated disk is called a ruptured disk. Disks can also cause pain when they bulge from their normal position without completely rupturing.
Causes of IVDP?
A disk can become herniated when it is injured. When a disk is damaged, the soft rubbery center of the disk squeezes out through a weak point in the hard outer layer. A disk may be damaged by:
- A fall or accident
- Repeated straining of your back
- A sudden strenuous action such as lifting a heavy weight or suddenly twisting your back
A herniated disk may also just happen without any specific injury.
symptoms of IVDP?
If your herniated disk is in your back, your symptoms may develop gradually or start suddenly. Symptoms include:
- Back pain
- Numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in one or both legs (this is called sciatica)
- Changes in bladder and bowel habits
Symptoms of a herniated disk in your neck may also develop gradually or suddenly. These symptoms can include neck pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion or numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both arms.
Diagnosis of IVDP?
Your healthcare provider will review your symptoms and ask about your pain. Then he or she will examine your spine and test the movement and reflexes in your arms and legs. You may have one or more of the following tests:
- X-rays of your spine
- MRI (which uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to create a picture of the spine)
- CT scan (computerized X-ray images of your spine)
- Electromyography (tests of electrical activity in your muscles)
- Myelography (injection of dye into the fluid around the spinal cord that can be seen on X-rays)
- Diskography (injection of dye into a disk and X-rays)
Treatment of IVDP?
In most cases, treatment without surgery will relieve your pain.
For a herniated disk in your back, your healthcare provider may recommend bed rest for 1 to 2 days. You may lie flat on your back on a firm mattress or on an ordinary bed with a stiff board under the mattress. Your provider may suggest putting a pillow under your knees when you lie on your back. You may also lie on your belly with a pillow under your chest or on your side with a pillow between your legs. Use the position that is most comfortable for you.
Other treatments your provider may recommend for your back are:
- Anti-inflammatory medicine
- Prescription pain relievers
- Muscle relaxants
- Hot or cold packs
- Back massage
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections into the space near the herniated disk to control pain and inflammation
Treatment for a herniated disk in your neck may include:
- Hot or cold packs
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Muscle relaxants
- prescription pain relievers
- A neck collar or neck brace to relieve muscle spasms
- Neck and shoulder massage
- Traction, which is the process of putting bones or muscles under tension with a system of weights and pulleys to keep them from moving or to relieve pressure on them
As your pain lessens, your healthcare provider will want you to start a physical therapy program to strengthen and stabilize your muscles and joints. This therapy involves learning how to control the movement of your spine in all recreation and work activities.
If you keep having symptoms, you may need to have surgery. However, most people who have herniated disks do not need surgery.
How long will the effects last?
The initial intense pain should go away within a few weeks, but you may keep having some pain for a few months. You may be prone to backaches throughout your life, so it is important to remember to protect your spine when you are lifting or being physically active.
If you keep having weakness and numbness in your legs or if you lose control of your bowel or bladder function, contact your healthcare provider right away.
How can I take care of myself?
Practice correct posture when you are walking, sitting, standing, lying down, or working.
- When lifting heavy objects, don’t bend over from your waist. Kneel or squat down by the object while keeping your back as straight as possible. Use your thigh muscles to do the lifting. Avoid twisting.
- When you stand, always stand up straight with your shoulders back, abdomen in, and the small of the back flat. When standing for a long time, move around often and shift your weight from one foot to another while standing as straight as possible.
- When you sit, have your feet flat on the floor or up on a foot rest. Get up every 20 minutes or so and stretch. Sit in a chair that has good back support.
Sleep on a firm mattress or one with a bed board under it. Lie on your side with your knees bent or on your back with a small pillow under your head and another pillow under your knees.
How can I help prevent IVDP?
Herniated disks can often be prevented by keeping your weight down, eating a proper diet, and exercising to keep your muscles firm. Strong, flexible muscles can stabilize your spine and protect it from injury. This includes keeping your stomach muscles strong. Walking and swimming are two good exercises for strengthening and protecting your spine.
Physiotherapy of IVDP
Herniated Disk Exercises
Lie on your side with your legs, hips, and shoulders in a straight line. Prop yourself up onto your forearm so your elbow is directly under your shoulder. Lift your hips off the floor and balance on your forearm and the outside of your foot. Try to hold this position for 15 seconds, then slowly lower your hip to the ground. Switch sides and repeat. Work up to holding for 1 minute or longer. This exercise can be made easier by starting with your knees and hips flexed toward your chest.
Lie on your back with both knees bent. Rest the ankle of one leg over the knee of your other leg. Grasp the thigh of the bottom leg and pull toward your chest. You will feel a stretch along the buttocks and possibly along the outside of your hip. Hold the
stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times with each leg.
Quadruped arm and leg raise:
Get down on your hands and knees. Pull in your belly button and tighten your abdominal muscles to stiffen your spine. While keeping your abdominals tight, raise one arm and the opposite leg away from you. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Lower your arm and leg slowly and change sides. Do this 10 times on each side.
Lie face down on the floor for 5 minutes. If this hurts too much, lie face down with a pillow under your stomach. This should relieve your leg or back pain. When you can lie on your stomach for 5 minutes without a pillow, you can continue with Part B of this exercise.
After lying on your stomach for 5 minutes, prop yourself up on your elbows for another 5 minutes. If you can do this without having more leg or buttock pain, you can start doing part C of this exercise.
Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders. Then press down on your hands and extend your elbows while keeping your hips flat on the floor. Hold for 1 second and lower yourself to the floor. Do 3 to 5 sets of 10 repetitions. Rest for 1 minute between sets. You should have no pain in your legs when you do this, but it is normal to feel some pain in your lower back.
Do this exercise several times a day.
Dead bug exercise:
Lie on your back with your knees bent, arms at your sides, and feet flat on the floor. Draw in your abdomen and tighten your abdominal muscles. While keeping your abdominal muscles tight and knees bent, lift one leg several inches off the floor, hold for 5 seconds, and then lower it. Repeat this exercise with the opposite leg. Then lift your arm over your head, hold for 5 seconds, and then lower it. Repeat with the opposite arm. Do 5 repetitions with each leg and arm.
Once this exercise gets easy, raise one leg and the opposite arm together. Hold for 5 seconds. Lower your arm and leg and raise the opposite arm and leg up and hold for 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions.
Do the next exercise only when you no longer have pain in your buttocks or legs.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Draw in your abdomen and tighten your stomach
muscles. With your hands stretched out in front of you, curl your upper body forward until your shoulders clear the floor. Hold this position for 3 seconds. Don’t hold your breath. It helps to breathe out as you lift your shoulders. Relax back to the floor. Repeat 10 times. Build to 2 sets of 15. To challenge yourself, clasp your hands behind your head and keep your elbows out to your sides.
If you have a herniated disk, you should not drive or sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. Walking is also good exercise for you.