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What is the difference between disc protrusion and herniation? 

protusion discale

A disc protrusion is a common problem that can cause back, lumbar, or neck pain with or without radiation in the arms or legs.


protrusion discale

If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from back pain, the pain of the century, you know how debilitating it can be. You may not be able to work or enjoy your favorite activities.

The herniated disc lumbar is the protrusion, extrusion or sequestration of the intervertebral disc from its usual anatomical location.

It may result from normal aging or recent trauma and cause mechanical compression of the nerve root by herniated material or sensitization of the nerve root.

For a lumbar or cervical hernia, the clinical presentation may include symptoms of back and neck pain with or without radiation in the leg or arm, sensory loss, paresthesias or muscle weakness, physical signs of localized tenderness and reduced range of motion, radiculopathy (pain, sensory impairment, weakness and/or reduced reflexes of a muscle group) with lower extremity provocation testing (such as the straight leg test). Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Chiro Ste-Rose offers treatment for herniated discs and other forms of back pain including sciatica, arm pain, numbness and spasms in the muscles, headaches radiating from neck pain, hip pain caused by lumbar spine dysfunction, capsulitis and shoulder dysfunction caused by back and cervical spine problems, and even carpal tunnel syndrome or joint disorders such as the jaw.

Chiropractors will perform an examination and establish an intervention plan according to the indications. They will offer a variety of care, including manual therapy adjustments from gentle to more involved for all ages and conditions, neuro-vertebral decompression care which is a computer software assisted traction that adjusts the force of traction according to the patient's tension which increases the effectiveness of the relief of symptoms related to the herniated disc while ensuring greater comfort for the patient. Decompression, combined with manual therapy, significantly increases the effectiveness of symptom relief and allows the patient to return to activities of daily living. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Let's see in this article how to differentiate between disc protrusions, back pain and a herniated disc.


What is the difference between protrusion and herniation?


The terms protrusion and herniated disc are confusing. Let's start with the basics.

In disc protrusion, the nucleus pulposus protrudes outward while the annulus fibrosus remains intact and the largest measurement of displaced disc material is less than the base measurement of displaced disc material.


Disc protrusion is a condition that many people are familiar with, as it can cause severe pain that radiates into your limbs, even neuralgia. The location of the injury will determine whether you have a disc protrusion in your back or neck, depending on where the inflammation occurs at any given time. In addition, this condition can also lead to stiffness due to reflex muscle contractures and other symptoms such as shooting sensations to one side when walking after an accident. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

When you have a protrusion, you may feel pressure on nearby nerves and this will cause pain, numbness and weakness in your back and legs. In some cases, a protrusion may require rest and over-the-counter medications for relief. However, more severe cases may require surgery when conservative care is maximized.

A herniated disc occurs when the inner core breaks through the outer layer and becomes visible, when the gelatinous center of a disc located between your vertebrae pops out. This can happen if the outer layer of the disc ruptures suddenly or slowly over time. However, it is more likely to occur suddenly if an injury or accident causes the disc to rupture.

A herniation occurs when there is too much pressure in your spine and it causes small tears between the individual fibers that form the ring around the disc.

Extrusion is likely to cause root symptoms. The nucleus pulposus extrudes through the annulus fibrosus while maintaining continuity with the disc, and the largest measure of displaced disc material is greater than the base measure of displaced disc material.

Extrusion of the lumbar disc


What is protrusion and its symptoms?


When you have a protruded disc in your back or neck, it can be difficult to determine exactly where the pain is coming from.  The pain caused by a disc protrusion can range from mild to severe, but it is most often the result of back or neck problems. The discomfort often starts in one specific area and then radiates down the spine, depending on where that particular area is located, into the space between two adjacent bones, called the intervertebral space.

In order to protect the nervous system, the musculature around the affected area can become tight, which is why this type of problem can also make you stiffer than normal due to those reflex muscle contractures that occur when the nervous system is threatened. Some muscles become too short and fibrous over time because they are constantly activated when a person has suffered injuries like this.


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What causes a disc protrusion?


Disc protrusions are often caused by factors such as age-related wear and tear, injury, pregnancy, obesity and sedentary lifestyle such as prolonged sitting. There are various treatments that can help, including exercise, chiropractic care, epidural steroid injections and surgery. These treatments will help you return to your normal activities.

A protrusion or hernia can occur for a variety of reasons, including genetics, age and injury. In many cases, the symptoms are mild and may not require treatment. However, if the inner core presses on a nerve root or spinal cord, it can cause pain, numbness, tingling, weakness such as a foot drop or other more serious problems such as incontinence and problems related to reproductive system dysfunction.

There are a number of treatments for disc protrusions and herniations. Some people may need surgery to remove damaged disc tissue. Others may need physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the spine or improve flexibility. Many people are relieved by medication and chiropractic care. Chiropractic care offers more than relief because it helps restore proper spinal function, promoting longer-term health and stability.


How does a disc protrusion evolve?


Facet joints that are misaligned or that are impeded in their normal movements can be the cause of this problem. It is therefore important to always pay attention to them before things get worse! A spinal biomechanical examination with or without X-rays is a simple and effective way to prevent premature aging of the spine. It is crucial to verify if the curves of the spine are well maintained by the muscular training surrounding the spine in order to ensure good maintenance and function. A sedentary lifestyle combined with excess weight often contributes to the development of this preventable condition.

A poorly maintained spine can therefore lead to the formation of osteoarthritis and dryness of the intervertebral discs worsen over time, as the vertebral discs lose fluid and become compressed. This would explain the pain, which may be accompanied by a decrease in range of motion. Treatment of a disc protrusion may include physical therapy, medications, conservative care such as decompression, adjustments, injections or surgery.

A disc protrusion can develop in several ways

  • The annulus fibrosus can weaken and tear over time due to age-related changes, injury or disease
  • When the fibrous ring tears, the nucleus pulposus (NP) can push through the opening.

NP is a jelly-like substance that helps cushion the spine and keeps the discs flexible. If NP comes into contact with nearby nerve roots, it can cause pain and other symptoms.

A disc protrusion is a herniated disc that can often cause back pain.


Here is an overview of how a lumbar disc protrusion can evolve:


Stage 1: In the early stages, there may be no symptoms. However, over time, the affected discs may begin to shrink in size.

Stage 2: As the discs continue to shrink, they may lose their ability to absorb shock to the spine. This can lead to wear and tear on the vertebrae and the development of osteophytes, in short, osteoarthritis.

Stage III: In the final stage, the discs may be so compressed that they begin to collapse. This can cause the vertebrae to rub against each other, resulting in pain and inflammation and scoliosis. Treatment for a disc protrusion at this stage may include surgery to remove the damaged disc tissue. However, even in advanced stages of the disease, many patients benefit from significant relief through conservative care such as neurovertebral decompression with manual therapy and can regain a desired quality of life.

A disc protrusion can cause pain and other symptoms, but it is often treated with rest and over-the-counter medications. However, this treatment does not help prevent future recurrences.

A herniated disc may require surgery to remove the damaged tissue, but the success rate is limited to around 50% for the absence of symptoms and can lead to complications.  Physical therapy can also help strengthen the muscles around the spine and improve flexibility.


Can a herniated disc disappear?


The good news is that in 90% of cases, symptoms related to a herniated disc go away on their own within six months. Your doctor may recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain medication and limit activities that cause discomfort or rotation for a period of time until the situation improves!

If you are still experiencing discomfort, your doctor may recommend physical therapy or another treatment strategy.

Surgery is generally not recommended unless the problem does not respond to treatment and the difficulty in moving increases over time.

However, in some cases, it may be appropriate for patients with spinal compression (such as osteoporosis). In these cases, surgery can often improve symptoms quickly because it removes the narrowing that is causing the pain without aggravating other conditions, such as arthritis.

Chronic low back problems are often best addressed through treatments such as physical therapy or chiropractic carewhich have proven effective in relieving most types of DPS (decompressionectomy) sciatica.


To treat or relieve a herniated disc by the chiropractic


Are you suffering from a herniated or protruded disc?

A herniated disc can be very painful and can cause numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms or legs. If you are suffering from this type of pain, chiropractic care may be the solution for you. Chiropractic care is a treatment that uses manual manipulation to relieve pain and improve spinal function. It is a safe and effective treatment for many conditions, including herniated discs in its various stages.

The care and chiropractic adjustments combined with decompression remain a safe and effective way to treat a herniated disc without surgery or medication. Chiropractors will team up with you to create a treatment plan that will help you relieve your pain and improve your function, while reducing your risk of recurrence and improving your quality of life.


If you are looking for a quality chiropractor in Laval (Ste-Rose), look no further. We offer top-notch care and services to help you get back on your feet.

Contact the team Chiro Ste. Rose today to schedule an appointment and start getting relief! We'll be happy to help you schedule a time that works for you to help you get on the road to recovery.



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