A slipped disc occurs when an opening forms in the envelope of the intervertebral disc, allowing a portion of its gel-like core to escape outside the cavity. The pain results from inflammation in the area caused by pressure on certain nerves adjacent to the slipped disc, often the sciatic nerve. Slipped discs most commonly form on the vertebral discs in the lumbar region. The L5 S1 slipped disc and L4 L5 slipped disc are the most prevalent cases.

Definition of a Herniated / Bulging Disc

A hernia occurs when an organ or a portion of an organ protrudes from its usual position. In the case of a slipped disc, it is a piece of an intervertebral disc that bulges out. To grasp this condition better, envision these discs as sturdy structures containing a gel-like nucleus. This nucleus is covered by a membrane that secretes a fluid called synovial fluid, lubricating the joint. The discs act as shock absorbers; throughout the day, with each impact, a tiny amount of fluid is expelled from the disc.

During the night, the discs rehydrate, akin to sponges, through a suction mechanism. As one ages, this mechanism weakens, and the discs no longer fully reinflate. They may then crack, rupture, and occasionally, the gel-like nucleus may protrude from its location, resulting in a slipped disc. A slipped disc can affect any part of the back and the lumbar region.

Causes of L4 L5 Disc Bulge and L5 S1 Disc Herniation

A disc bulge in the L4 L5 region or a disc herniation at L5 S1 occurs when the cells of the intervertebral disc age, dry out, and cease to be regenerated and replaced by new cells. The peripheral tissues of the disc then lose their ability to contain the disc's nucleus.

The primary cause of this cellular aging process is inadequate supply of oxygen, water, and nutrients, coupled with poor removal of carbon dioxide. These functions are typically carried out by the circulatory system and, therefore, the blood. Despite being avascular, vertebral discs rely on blood flow facilitated through capillary exchange across the surface of the vertebral disc. The avascular nature of intervertebral discs makes them particularly vulnerable to insufficient blood flow.

Healthy vertebral discs have a high water content in their center, in the nucleus. A well-hydrated nucleus is crucial for disc functions. The water content in the disc is not constant and varies over a twenty-four-hour cycle. It gradually dehydrates during the day and rehydrates at rest, during the night. Adequate blood circulation in the back is therefore essential to allow the disc to replenish its water content (healthy blood is composed of 90% water). If there is a lack of water, the disc dehydrates, becomes inflamed, and deteriorates rapidly, paving the way for the arthrosic degeneration process.

In addition to aging and dehydration, mechanical stresses on the disc contribute to the equation. A healthy disc can withstand significant pressures when supported by a relaxed and balanced musculature. However, the muscles of the back often bear numerous, often unconscious, contractions that hinder their role. This shifts forces onto the vertebral disc. Moreover, these contractions alter the natural postures and movements of the back. Lastly, these contractions are often more pronounced on one side than the other, causing imbalances in the pressure exerted on the disc, leading to local pinching, protrusions, herniations, and discopathies.

Who Is at Risk for L4 L5 Disc Bulge and L5 S1 Disc Herniation?

L4 L5 or L5 S1 disc bulges are more likely to occur between the ages of thirty-five and fifty-five. It is estimated that one in fifty individuals will experience this condition at some point. The prevalence is higher in men than in women, not because they have a predisposition to disc issues, but because they often engage in occupations or sports that place greater demand on their physical strength. Lifting heavy loads with poor posture, for example, can damage the intervertebral discs. Overweight individuals and those experiencing pregnancy are also at risk factors, as well as individuals lacking sufficient back muscle strength. Additionally, there is a hereditary predisposition to disc herniation, which may sometimes manifest before adulthood.

Symptoms of L4 L5 Disc Bulge and L5 S1 Disc Herniation

There are cases where a disc bulge or herniation may not cause pain and goes unnoticed. Pain typically arises when the damaged disc compresses a nerve root. Persistent back pain for more than a week, pain intensifying when leaning forward, coughing, sneezing, or exerting effort are all signs of disc issues. When located in the lower back, a disc bulge or herniation can lead to lumbar pain, characterized by lower back discomfort, or sciatica, causing pain at the back of the leg.

Home Treatment We Recommend

In addition to stretching, there are some powerful home treatment strategies that can help alleviate lower back pain in endurance athletes. Two extremely effective methods are spine decompression and acupressure.

lower back decompression

Spine Decompression

Among the treatments for L4 L5 Disc Bulge and L5 S1 Disc Herniation, vertebral decompression is arguably the most effective. Better known in North America and practiced on bulky and expensive machines, vertebral decompression has been utilized since the 1970s as a non-invasive alternative to surgery for disc issues. The principle involves stretching the vertebrae to open the intervertebral spaces. This opening of the spaces draws the vertebral discs towards the center with a surrounding influx of blood. This space and fluid influx allow the disc to rehydrate, regenerate, and heal, bringing a definitive end to the disc issue and its treatment.

When a disc issue is present, every pressure on the intervertebral disc involves pressure from the protruding disc. The disc issue affects the nerve, triggering painful episodes, sciatica, and other movement discomforts. Moreover, the disc issue hinders the healing of the disc surface. To break free from this vicious cycle, it is essential to resolve the disc issue within the disc, and this is accomplished through the use of the Nubax. The Nubax is a highly effective at-home vertebral decompression device that allows you to release compressed nerve roots and rehydrate and heal your vertebral disc.

acupressure for lower back pain

Acupressure for bulging or herniated discs

Treatment for L4 L5 Disc Bulge and L5 S1 Disc Herniation often involves the prescription of potentially toxic and often ineffective substances. If you are experiencing disc issues, opting for endorphins to alleviate pain is a preferable approach. Endorphins are naturally secreted by your own brain, and aside from their potent pain-relieving properties, they have a beneficial impact on your overall well-being. Endorphins soothe nerves by increasing the presence of neurotransmitters in the nervous system. But how can you trigger the secretion of a substantial amount of endorphins without having to run a marathon?

The Champ de Fleurs mat and cushion were developed to provide a type of nerve stimulation on the skin that allows for the production of significant amounts of endorphins, resulting in powerful pain relief and deep nerve soothing. Since 2012, Champ de Fleurs has already assisted tens of thousands of individuals in France in alleviating L4 L5 disc bulge and L5 S1 disc herniation and their associated pains.

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