David and his Low-Back pain caused from a disc prolapse
David is a 40-year-old IT Consultant in Milton, who had a lengthy episode of low-back pain in his mid-thirties and has had a few niggles in recent months. Mostly this doesn’t interfere with his work or the game of football he likes to play on a Sunday morning. However one Tuesday morning David lent forward to get something off his desk when his back “just went”. David described his back as stuck and immensely painful on movement. He was sent home from work and saw his GP who prescribed him anti-inflammatories.
3 days later David was still in much discomfort as he slowly limped in from the waiting room. On standing David’s back tilted to one side and he was unable to weight bear through both legs. We tested the power and reflexes in his legs to see if any nerves were trapped and causing him weakness but everything was found to be intact.
David struggled to lie on the treatment table but once he did find a position of ease we examined him. We found the lumbar 4-5 joint of David’s spine to be very tender and had increased movement when compared to neighbouring joints. The skin over the problematic joint felt puffy too with muscle guarding extending both into his right buttock and up to his mid-back.
Despite being acute, David’s low-back pain was not serious but a mild strain of his L4-5 disc. His tilted spine was an exaggerated pain response caused by the local nerves which had become sensitized from his previous episode. We treated David over 3 sessions to improve his spinal movement and decrease his muscle spasm with a session one month later to help remove the remaining blocks to his recovery.
David had stopped his football but we assured him that whilst he may experience the odd twinge during play that he would help his back in both the short and longer term if he continued. He would be maintaining spinal mobility and the nerves in his back would become accustomed and not sensitized to movement, making another episode less likely.