Studio Australia Barcelona Blog

How to Recover from a Herniated Disc

Part 1

It’s the classic story: “I just sneezed and threw my back out”.  It’s that easy.

Even for a fit Pilates instructor!

Last November Nat bent over to demonstrate a glut stretch on the barrel in class, something she does at least 10 times a day, and couldn’t get up.

The next day she couldn’t get out of bed, pee or walk by her self. She was helpless.

Over the past 20 years Natalia has successfully treated 100’s of disc injuries.

She has developed a unique method of Pilates that helps people to get back to work, back to their sports and back to enjoying life.

Stronger, pain free and with a renewed confidence.

We are going to tell you how, with Nat as the patient.

Follow Nat’s journey on how she was out of pain and back at work in 3 weeks.

A simple description of a herniated disc

Between the vertebrae in your spine you have discs. These discs are like little cushions that have a donut like ring or edge and a softer part in the middle. They separate the bones of the spine and allow you to bend, flex and twist and take the impact of movement between the vertebra, like a shock absorber.

To the right is a simple diagram.

When the outside ring , the donut, tears (ruptures) or pushes out (bulges), the soft center can also push out beyond the rings and this is called a herniated disc. It can happen for many reasons, wear and tear, age, lifting heavy items, straining, bending – as is what happened with Natalia and sometimes something as simple as sneezing.

Please note that I am not a doctor and this is a very simple and non-medical description of an injury that can be very serious but it gives you the idea.  It’s not good! A degenerated disc is the aging of these discs.  It can be due to age itself or due to overuse, smoking obesity or disease.

Nat’s diagnosis

When Nat was finally able to move again she went back to the hospital for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).  This is the only test in which you can see damage to the discs in your spine.  Here is the report she received.

  • signs of lumbar spondylosis (degenerative osteoarthritis of the joints between the center of the spinal vertebrae and/or neural foramina)
  • schmorl (these are protrusions of disc material into the surface of the vertebral body)
  • small hernia acute-subacute at the bottom of L4 vertebral level
  • rectification of physiological lordosis in supine position
  • degenerative level changes discs L1-L2, L2-L3, L4-L5 and L5-S1
  • small focal posterior protrusion L1-L2
  • loss of disc height space L2-L3 disc herniation extruding and later migrated superiorly and foraminal
  • diffuse bulging disc L4-L5
  • minimum focal protrusion foraminal Left L5-sl Image rupture of the fibrous ring
  • degenerative changes in the lumbar facet articulation
  • lumbar spinal canal at the level of L3-S1 segment normal size
  • paravertebral space unaltered
  • As you can imagine she was shocked when she received this diagnosis!

In part 2 ‘The first 14 days – how to manage the pain and the fear’ we will explain how Nat dealt with it.



Wikipedia Herniated Disc


Wikipedia Spondylosis

WebMD Degenerative Disc


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