Disc protrusion of the spine, called intervertebral or disc protrusion is a displacement or extension of the intervertebral disc beyond the vertebral column. This disease is considered as the initial stage of intervertebral hernia.
As in the case of intervertebral hernia, the most common protrusion in the lumbar spine, specifically disc protrusion l5 s1 and l4 l5. This happens because the lumbar discs l4, l5 and s1 receive the heavy loads, respectively, these discs are most susceptible to protrusion as a result of various problems of the spine.
The main stages of formation of the protrusion
There are three main stages of formation of protrusion of the intervertebral disc.
In the first stage, there are small cracks in the fibrous ring, resulting in a change in the design of the disc itself. At this stage, perhaps the destruction of the ring is approximately two-thirds of the region. At this stage the disease can manifest itself, acute flares of pain that is local.
The second stage starts is actually a bulging disc, which can reach 2-3 mm. the Pain changes its character, it becomes radiating, while there is serious discomfort in the area of the damaged disc. This stage is quite early, so it is still possible to cure the protrusion non-surgical way, and even without the use of medication. It will be enough to do physical therapy, lifestyle changes, etc.
The third stage is accompanied by increased protrusion of the disc. It directly precedes rupture of the fibrous ring, which appears and disc herniation. This stage is accompanied by severe radiating pain and minor neurological disorders, such as numbness of the limbs.
Note that the protrusion of disks is not always manifests itself with pain. The pain appears only when blubber disc starts to press on the nerve roots of the spine, the compression is the cause of the pain.
The causes of disk protrusion
Protrusion of the intervertebral discs at all, and protrusion of the intervertebral disc l5 s1 in particular, is the result of developing osteoarthritis. Osteochondrosis, in turn, is a chronic disease that develops over a long period of time. As a result of this disease in the cavities of the disk decreases the amount of fluid there is a deficiency of amino acids and trace elements. This reduces the elasticity of the discs, they take a flat shape and begin to bulge. Eventually there is rupture of the fibrous ring and starts a herniated disc, thereby reducing the distance between the vertebrae and the disc shrinks.
The pain causes pinched nerves, which occurs almost always and herniation of the spine. The hernia compresses the nerve fibers, swelling and inflammation. The result may be a muscle spasm, and pain can “give back” to the gluteal region or the leg.
To the appearance of a protrusion, in addition to osteoarthritis, can result in osteoporosis, a spinal injury, scoliosis, kyphosis and lordosis.
In General, one can distinguish the following causes of protrusion of the spine:
- heredity, infection and injury;
- incorrect posture;
- the metabolic disorders;
- overly heavy loads on the spine;
- insufficient development of the muscular frame of the back and torso in General;
- diseases of the spine;
- age-related changes;
- wrong weight lifting, sharp bends with rotation, etc.
Differences of protrusion from a herniated disc
The main difference is the fact that the protrusion of the fibrous ring is destroyed, and pulpose nucleus remains in its limits. When the herniation is a rupture of the fibrous ring, and purposee the kernel just follows beyond it.
The main reason causing the occurrence of any possible protrusion (e.g., protrusion of l5 dorsal ѕ1диска, which is one of the most common), are dystrophic processes in the spine. As a result of these processes, the disc gradually loses its cushioning quality, of the disc tissue is dry, resulting in lose their flexibility. Due to the loss of flexibility in the fibrous ring begin to appear cracks, intervertebral gap gradually narrowed, the pressure on the damaged disc increases, whereby it begins to bulge.
A bulging disc just leads to a pinched nerve endings, with the result that there is pain syndrome. It should be noted that such a serious protrusion that can cause compression of the nerve roots of the spine, is possible only in the later stages of the disease. And if herniated disc the compression of the roots is, initially, Yes, and pain is much stronger.
Very often the cause of the above processes in the spine are also occupational diseases. Also cause pinching of the nerve endings can become a sports back injury.
A bulging disc, which is formed of a herniated disc, often leads to the fact that there is a compression of the nerve roots of the spine. Such compression of the nerve endings leads to pain along the nerve is just irritated. Accordingly, the most visible symptom of these two diseases (protrusion and hernia) is a pain.
The character of the pain in the case of protrusion depends upon its appearance, so the pain can “give” in the leg, arm, intercostal spaces, neck. Is frequent and weakening of the muscles in the affected areas, which may be accompanied by disturbances of sensitivity. From such a compression of the sciatic nerves are frequently affected due to its anatomical location.
The most typical symptoms of protrusion of the intervertebral disc of the spine is:
The symptoms, as you can see, not particularly unique, so people often write it off on other diseases or on the usual fatigue, but almost never think about the possible problems with the spine. The result is that the person can be years to get treatment for completely different diagnoses, the treatment will be useless, or the results will be unsatisfactory. But the real cause of the pain – protrusion, would gradually progress, it will come to a natural result – the formation of a herniated disc with all the ensuing consequences.
Pain often arise in adolescence after a relatively moderate physical activity or prolonged stay in an uncomfortable position. Often the disease occurs and at the wrong slope, especially if it is performed while turning in combination with lifting heavy cargo. After about a day the pain and weakness in one leg may occur the violation of the sensitivity of the limbs.
For disc protrusion l5 s1 and l4 l5 the most characteristic pain in the lumbar region that may radiate into the leg or buttocks. It is worth considering that protrusion of the lumbar disc is one of the most common nowadays diseases of the spine. Fortunately it’s completely curable, but only if timely diagnosis and treatment.
How to treat disc protrusion l4-l5 and l5-s1?
Without proper treatment, disc protrusion, quickly turns into a intervertebral hernia, which will not happen not to notice or ignore. The protrusion surgical intervention is not required, and that under some scenarios of herniated discs to contact the surgeon will have to. So it is very important at the first symptoms, immediately contact a competent specialist and not try to get rid of pain “folk remedies” that are not often treated, and harm.
Note that treatment of protrusion is a whole complex of therapeutic measures that are designed to not only eliminate pain, but to eliminate the causes of its occurrence . And the reasons are the same degenerative processes in the discs, which may be caused by disruption of blood circulation and metabolic processes in combination with unduly heavy loads. Such loads can be caused by spasms of the muscles, overweight, etc.
Conservative treatment of disc protrusion involves first eliminate pain by removing spasm of the muscles. Can be used for this massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, and in some cases medical methods. But it should be noted that simply removing the pain is not yet proper treatment.
The mainstay of treatment of this disease are physical therapy techniques and therapeutic exercises. These methods are meant to “straighten” the existing protrusion through improving the state of the muscular frame of the back and ligamentous apparatus. So it is possible not only to stop the progression of the disease, but to cure the person. But it is worth considering that the treatment must appoint a qualified doctor, otherwise you risk just to speed up the development of the disease.