Back pain is now society’s number one common ailment. Slipped or herniated discs are often to blame, and, in fact, MRI scans have already detected precisely this problem in a third of young adults in Austria. But not all cases necessarily cause pain. ‘Pain arises when the pressure of a slipped disc causes inflammation and swelling, irritating the nerves. Typical symptoms include pain that spreads to the limbs, numbness or signs of paralysis,’ explains Dr Gartner. There are many causes for slipped discs, ranging from connective tissue weakness, malformation, poor posture and strain, to bending or twisting the wrong way.
‘The intervertebral discs need constant strain and release to ensure long term functionality. Uneven strain over long periods can affect disc structure, making them more prone to injury. It is important to regularly activate the girdle of muscles that supports our spine, allowing pressure to be evenly distributed and giving all tissue a healthy share of the strain. Uneven strain and lack of muscle movement can overload the discs in the long run. And when we’re in pain, we respond by adopting an unhelpful protective posture… it’s a vicious circle!’ Mina Siehs highlights.