Why a Prolapsed Disc Occurs, and How It Causes Sciatica

This video details how the disc in your spine can get ruptured. We then go in detail over exactly what happens next, and how this is one of the common causes of sciatica.

It’s really important for people with prolapsed disc to understand exactly what has happened, and to realise that a large percentage of the pain they feel is actually your body healing the problem.

This can remove the fear that accentuates the pain. Understanding the healing process can also help people get moving and  begin their recovery.


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(6) comments

Beverley Oakes-Jones November 3, 2009

Thank you for your wonderful website. I had a car accident in April where I was hit while stationery. I have whiplash and a buldging disc at C5 which causes tingling in my arm and left leg. I am having weekly trigger point therapy recovery is slow. Had a dreadful night last it seems to be at its worst at night when I get into bed fine during the day whilst I am on my feet

    Jonathan November 30, 2009

    Hi Beverley

    A few points.
    Bulging in a disc at C5 [I assume this means between C5 & C6 vertebrae] can often cause tingling in your arm running in a band down to your index and middle fingers. This is because the nerve exiting from the spine at this level runs along the course I described. This tends to settle in the vast majority of people in time – usually 10-16 weeks. It settles because the wall of the disc heals with scar tissue and the pressure plus inflammation of the exiting nerve reduces.

    However it is unusual to have tingling in your left leg from this. The only way this can happen is if the disc bulge is in the centre of the disc and presses on the actual spinal cord- specifically on the nerve running to the leg. This is potentially more serious and should have been discussed at length with you by your doctor.

    In this situation, any trigger points are secondary to the underlying disc problem. However treatment of these can be surprisingly effective.

    Jonathan Kuttner


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Lynne L. June 25, 2012

I have been suffering from a herniated disc at L5/S1 since January. I tried these therapies in the following order: chiropractic for sciatica, oral steroid pack, 2 nerve block injections, physical therapy. I am still doing physical therapy and started my 10th week. I do traction there as well as ultrasound and core exercises. I am better but still have random nerve pain- mainly in my gluteal trigger point and also underneath my ankle bone and side of my lower calf. I am getting a little discouraged but I am trying to avoid any type of surgery. I fell and twisted with weight (groceries) and that is how it started. I am 44 , 105 lbs, and consider myself physically fit as I used to bike and power walk. I can still bike on flat but cannot yet walk very far at all, even at a slower pace. Do you have any specific suggestions for me concerning my radicular calf/ankle pain and trigger point pain in my gluteal muscle? Do you believe aquatherapy would help me more than the physical therapy? I would love to hear from you. I enjoyed your videos.


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