Lumbar disc herniation is a common condition in which the soft gel-like material inside a spinal disc bulges out through a tear or rupture in the disc's outer fibrous ring, potentially compressing nerves that exit the spine at that level. Biomechanics plays an important role in understanding the development and progression of lumbar disc herniation.
Here are some of the biomechanical factors that can contribute to lumbar disc herniation:
Repetitive Loading: Repetitive loading on the spine, such as lifting heavy weights with poor lifting technique or prolonged sitting in a hunched posture, can cause cumulative damage to the discs over time. This can weaken the outer fibers of the disc and make it more susceptible to herniation.
Spinal Flexion: Forward bending of the spine, known as flexion, increases the pressure on the front of the discs and can cause the disc material to bulge out. This is why activities that involve prolonged or repetitive spinal flexion, such as gardening or vacuuming, are often associated with lumbar disc herniation.
Spinal Rotation: Twisting or rotating the spine can also put stress on the discs and increase the risk of herniation. This is because the twisting motion can shear the disc material and cause it to bulge out.
Poor Posture: Poor posture, such as slouching or sitting with a forward head posture, can increase the load on the discs and make them more susceptible to herniation.
Here are some common treatment options:
Rest: Rest and avoiding activities that make symptoms worse can reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area.
Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help improve posture, strengthen the muscles that support the spine, and relieve pressure on the affected discs.
Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or pain relievers can help reduce pain and inflammation.
Epidural steroid injections: Injecting steroid drugs into the epidural space around the affected disc can reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Chiropractic: Chiropractic adjustments help improve spinal alignment and relieve pressure on the affected discs.