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What is intervertebral disc protrusion

Intervertebral disc protrusion is a small intervertebral hernia, during treatment of which a complete restoration of the intervertebral disc is possible within its anatomical boundaries. When an intervertebral disc prolapses (true intervertebral hernia), the pulpal nucleus leaves the lumen of the spinal canal irreversibly. From this it follows that the treatment of protrusion is much easier and takes less time than the treatment of intervertebral disc prolapse.

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The size of the protrusion ranges from 1 mm to 5 mm.

Reasons for the formation of intervertebral disc protrusion

The reasons for the formation of protrusions are the same as for intervertebral disc prolapses:

  • Still life
  • Weight lifting
  • Failure to work and rest
  • Endocrinological diseases
  • Professions with a forced inclination of the body (surgeon, hairdresser)
  • Curvature of the spine

Almost every intervertebral hernia goes through a protrusion stage.

Protrusions more often than disc prolapses form in the thoracic spine and in all parts of the spine in Scheuermann Mau disease.

Symptoms of intervertebral disc protrusion

Due to the small size of the protrusion of the pulpal nucleus, symptoms are usually absent. So with protrusions of the lumbar spine, pain in the lower back is most common and less likely to be remote symptoms, such as pain in the leg, foot, and toes. However, with an anatomically narrow spinal canal, a small protrusion may behave like a large intervertebral hernia. For example, a protrusion of 5 mm in the spinal canal of 11 mm will behave like an intervertebral hernia of 10 mm.

Protrusions of the cervical spine

The clinical course of protrusions of the cervical spine differs from the course of this disease in the thoracic and lumbar spine. This is due to the relatively small size of the spinal canal at the level of the cervical spine and the fact that at this level the vessels supplying oxygen to the brain are located.

To compare the course of the disease with the thoracic and lumbar spine, the coefficient 2 is often used. Thus, 4 mm protrusion in the cervical spine is comparable to 8 mm intervertebral hernia in the lumbar spine. The maximum size of the protrusion of the intervertebral disk in the cervical spine is 7 mm, with a sequestered hernia it can reach 9-10 mm.

By the size of the protrusion of the cervical spine are divided:

  • 1 mm – small protrusion
  • 2 and 3 mm – the average size of the protrusion
  • 4 mm and larger protrusion or prolapse of the intervertebral disc

Since the size of 2 mm, protrusions of the cervical spine give remote symptoms of the disease:

  • Numbness of fingers
  • Shoulder pain
  • Hand pain
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Pressure jumps
  • Pain under the shoulder blade

Treatment of protrusion of the interstitial disc

Treatment of protrusion does not differ from treatment of intervertebral disc prolapse. Pretty quickly, it is possible to remove the pain syndrome and restore the mobility of the spinal segment. However, due to the rapid recovery of health and lost functions, the complete removal of pain, most patients develop an unjustifiably easy attitude to their disease. Some patients do not follow the recommendations given by them, which ultimately leads to the progression of the disease and the development of prolapse of the intervertebral disc, which can lead the patient to irreversible consequences and vertebral disability. When all the recommendations are fulfilled in 95% of cases, there is a decrease in the size of protrusions and a full recovery of health.

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Svetlana (Moscow): I was found to have an intervertebral disc protrusion of L4-5 3.5 mm. Trental 400 was treated, now the treatment was canceled, as the stomach was planted. And now what? I was told to endure, it will pass by itself

Answer: The protrusion of the intervertebral disc cannot be cured by trental. The purpose of this drug is not clear to us. Since you live in Moscow, you can come to us for a free consultation at one of our Clinics. We will help you to cope with your problem.

Sergey (St. Petersburg): I have long suffered from severe pain in the lower back and left leg, last year numbness in the toes of the legs was added to the pain. Recently I did an MRI, they found only a few small protrusions in the lower back. Can these protrusions cause such pain and numbness? Or need to look for another reason?

Answer: There may be several reasons for this discrepancy between the clinical picture and the description of the MRI. The most likely of these is the presence of a narrow spinal canal. In such a channel, even small protrusions behave like intervertebral hernia of a large size. The second of the frequent reasons is the performance of MRI on a low-floor apparatus. The third reason is incorrectly described MRI. For example, only the sagittal size of the hernial protrusion is described. We have had many such cases in practice. For example, a hernia of a disk of 5 mm is described, but the displacement of a hernia to the right by 8 mm and to the left by 7 mm is not described. You can scan and send your pictures to us by email.

Marina (Moscow): Good afternoon. Yesterday, two protrusions were found on MRI: 2 mm (C2-C3) and 3 mm (C4-C5). I am an athlete, I would like to know if it is possible in my situation to completely cure the neck so that the protrusions disappear?

Answer: Yes. Our technique allows to reduce the size of the hernial protrusion, but you must follow all our recommendations and perform special exercises every day.

Anna (Dnepropetrovsk): Protrusion found in the neck

Answer: The maximum size of the intervertebral hernia of the cervical spine is 7-8 mm, so 5 mm for the neck is considered a large size. Moreover, the situation is complicated by the presence of a narrow spinal canal – only 11 mm. Therefore, all the above symptoms fully fit the MRI pattern. Urgent medical measures are needed.

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Vitaly Petrovich, 40 years old (Moscow): I’m reading an article on protrusion and I can’t make sense of it: I have only 4 mm protrusion in my lower back, and my doctor insists that this is no longer cured and is sent for surgery. What do you advise? Symptoms are: pain in the lower back, thighs and buttocks, leg to the knee. I am doing massage now and going through a course of acupuncture. It helps, but not so much.

Answer: The surgical treatment of disc herniation should have strictly limited indications, because the operation can sharply worsen the patient’s state of health. New intervertebral hernias may form as early as 3 months after surgery, and in some cases even earlier. In almost 85% of cases, we manage to do without surgery in patients with hernia sizes of 8–14 mm while observing all the recommendations, so that with a size of 4 mm there can be no indications for surgical treatment. Come to the free reception of a neurologist in our Clinics.

Hello! My name is Maxim, I live in the Moscow region. The question is this: I am engaged in the gym, lately pains in the neck began to appear, in the morning the neck became numb and once a week at least a headache. Previously, this was not, therefore, turned to a doctor and did an MRI. An MRI found several protrusions, the largest 4 mm. I read in the article that weight lifting may be the cause of the protrusion. Need to stop classes? Or, perhaps, rather rarely to be in the gym?

Answer: It is necessary to stop exercising in the gym, as it is possible a sharp increase in the protrusion of the intervertebral disk during lifting. Safe are swimming lessons.

Sore joint on arm

Alla (Obninsk): I have long been cured of high blood pressure attacks, it never even occurred to the doctors that the problem could be in the spine, and I recently came across your article, underwent a test for the spine and did a magnetic resonance tomogram. Indeed, they found three protrusions in the neck. Thank! Now at least I know what the problem is.

Boris, 47 years old: He was treated for dizziness for a long time, he felt unwell, he was constantly sick, his eyes darkened, sometimes his headaches were just hellish. I could not sleep properly, because I could not find a comfortable position of the head on the pillow, I constantly woke up tired and with a dull pain in the back of my head. He was treated by a huge number of techniques, drank trental, Vinpocetine, was in the clinic of neurosis. Many thanks to the clinic "Stayer" for having made the correct diagnosis (protrusion of intervertebral discs in the cervical spine, narrow spinal canal) and significantly improved my situation! After the fifth procedure I felt a significant improvement (then I asked myself the question more than once: why did I suffer for so long?) I went through the whole course at the moment. Actually, now I can work normally, the pain has decreased, and, most importantly, this half-fainting state was gone from dizziness, nausea, I began to sleep well and get enough sleep. Thank.

Elizaveta Alexandrovna, 54 years old: Three years ago, my shoulder ached, went to the clinic, the doctor said that the problem in the joint and sent me to x-rays. On the x-ray did not find anything. He was treated with magnets, electrophoresis, diprospan was injected into the joint (why?), Physiotherapy was performed – nothing helped, and with time it only got worse. Months ago "hung" arm. She was frightened, began to look for more effective methods of treatment with her husband. The search led me to the Stayer Clinic on Akademik Yangel Street, they examined me there and rushed him to an MRI. Based on the results of the examination, they diagnosed multiple protrusions in the cervical spine. At first, she was not particularly confident of success, the first 20 treatments for the pain did not subside, but at some point it seemed that it became even worse, but then the pain gradually began to miraculously disappear! It has now been 3 months since I finished the treatment at the Clinic; my state of health is wonderful, my shoulder, thank God, does not hurt. Thank you guys!

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