The age group in which the herniated disc manifests most is between 30 and 50 years of age, with a greater risk factor in people who perform a sedentary occupation and who do not carry out physical activity.
Other relevant risk factors are overweight, high stature, the habitual and protract undergo to high physical exertions involving manual lifting of loads, the prolonged and constant driving of motor vehicles, vibrations and pregnancies.
Over 50 years of age, the pulpy nucleus of the intervertebral disc tends to "dry out", losing its gelatinous consistency, thus reducing the risk of herniated discs.
The pain may occur suddenly or may be preceded by a feeling of rupture or snap at the level of the spine, and it can be perceived by the patient as widespread pain, both intense and acute, which starts from the spine and worsens when it reaches interested limb.
If you suspect the onset of a herniated disc, it is recommended to immediately contact a specialist doctor who will advise to the patient the best type of treatment to follow, after a careful analysis to rule out symptoms that may depend on other systemic, inflammatory, neoplastic or infectious diseases involving the rachis.
The choice of the therapy to be followed is defined by referring to the Guidelines published by the italian Superior Institute of Sanity and intended for all professionals in the sector.
The Italian Superior Institute of Sanity advises, in the absence of the so-called "red lights" (eg extensive and/or progressive neurological deficit, a history of cancer, weight loss not explained, protracted asthenia etc.) to wait at least 4-6 weeks from onset of symptoms before performing diagnostic imaging tests. It also advises the doctor to consider the surgery only if the symptoms last beyond 6 weeks, with the pain that does not respond to the targeted physiotherapeutic treatment.
If disc herniations cause extensive compressions, it's usually recommended to proceed with surgery. Every year in Italy about 30,000 patients undergo surgery for lumbar disc herniation, which corresponds to a national average rate of 5.1 interventions per 10,000 people, with extremely variable rates: from 2.5 in Calabria to 6, 9 out of 10,000 in Lombardy (Italian Superior Institute of Sanity - 2007).
In the less extensive hernias, the symptoms determined by the hernia may resolve spontaneously or with conservative treatments: numerous diagnostic imaging studies have shown that lumbar disc herniations are dynamic phenomena and, in a high proportion of cases, they regress all or in large part within the first three months of the onset of symptoms, without surgery.
In cases in which surgery is not necessary but is intended for conservative treatments, the Italian Superior Institute of Sanity recommends limiting bed rest, as it does not involve particular advantages, and to return active as soon as possible, adjusting the level of activity to the detected pain. NSAIDs are recommended to control pain, but only for non-prolonged periods of time, considering the risk of side effects especially in elderly subjects. As an alternative to NSAIDs, paracetamol, alone or with weak opioids, and tramadol are recommended. The use of muscle relaxants is not recommended, considering the absence of evidence of efficacy and possible side effects, while systemic steroids can be used for short periods. Finally, one of the recommended conservative treatments are physical therapies, with particular attention to laser therapy.
Mectronic, to treat herniated discs in a quickly and effectively way, has created Theal Therapy, the innovative Made in Italy laser therapy that has proved successful in the treatment of this widespread pathology.
"I regularly visit patients suffering from pathologies of the spine such as lumbosciatalgie, radiculopathies and herniated discs. The conservative treatment of these diseases is always preferable and Theal Therapy has proved to be a precious ally of doctors and physiotherapists to reduce pain and to accelerate recovery times - explains Dr. Johnny Casagrande, neurosurgeon of the Varese Circle Hospital - It is a safe and effective method for the conservative treatment of these pathologies that acts directly on inflammation, eliminating the inflammatory component and therefore the associated pain. Theal Therapy allows you to reduce and dehydrate the hernia, reducing it in volume and compress less or no longer compresses the nerve root. We have finally found a great ally in the conservative treatment of the disc pathologies and the results have been excellent ".
Thanks to the mix of 3, 4, 6 or 8 adjustable wavelengths, the high intensity laser emission of Theal Therapy can be easily modulated in order to obtain the perfect mix to maximize the therapeutic effect, adapting the treatment in based on the patient's physiological parameters.
Another great strength of Theal Therapy in the treatment of herniated discs, is the ability to monitor the temperature during treatment, thanks to a specific temperature control system. This allows the emission to be modulated correctly, to guarantee effective therapy and to maximize the antalgic effects of the therapy.
Discover more about Theal Therapy, the innovative Mectronic laser technology that ensure faster healing and effective results.