Intervertebral discs provide absorption from shock and allow for the smooth motion of the spine by preventing the bones from rubbing against each other. The spine is the first part of the body to start degenerating, and this can happen even in a person's early 20s; thus discopathy is a common problem in adults. The biomechanics of the spine is briefly introduced in Chapter 12. In addition to natural degeneration or age-related wear, disc her-niation can be aggravated by improper lifting of weights, excessive strain on the spinal musculature, or physical trauma to the discs.
Pain can be felt in the back, neck, buttocks, legs, and feet, sometimes with numbness and tingling sensation. It may affect control of the bowels or bladder.
In addition to conventional medical approaches, dry needling acupuncture is very effective in alleviating pain in most cases of disc herniation, including those for which surgery is required. Systemic examination of the ARPs should be performed, and treatment in every case should be systemic. The treatment should include the neck, shoulder, upper and lower back, hips, legs, and even feet. Two treatment sessions per week are recommended.
For prevention of this injury, athletes should receive weekly systemic treatment to balance the musculoskeletal system.
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