Can you work with a disc protrusion?

Working with a slipped disc is a challenge for many people. As a worker, it’s essential to be aware of your body’s limitations and capabilities in order to adapt your working environment and avoid aggravating the situation or suffering medical complications. In this article, we’ll explore how to live and work with a disc overhang, taking into account various aspects such as:

  • The disc overhang as a whole
  • How to differentiate a disc overhang from other similar conditions
  • Preventive measures to avoid the onset or aggravation of a disc sprain
  • Managing a slipped disc at work
  • Degenerative disc disease: a risk to be taken into account

Understanding disc overhang as a whole

The term disc overhang, sometimes used to refer to a herniated disc, refers to a pathology that occurs when the gelatinous nucleus inside intervertebral discs moves outwards, causing pressure on nearby nerves, muscles and bones. This can lead to :

  1. Localized pain in the spine or other areas, depending on the region.
  2. Stiffness in the back and neck.
  3. Weakness, numbness and tingling in the extremities.
  4. Disturbance of nerve and muscle functions.

Differentiating disc overhang from other similar conditions

It is essential to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis to ensure continuity of work. Some symptoms similar to those of a slipped disc may be caused by disorders such as :

  • Mechanical lumbago: non-disc pain originating in the structures around the spine (muscles, ligaments, joints).
  • Muscle spasm: involuntary, prolonged contraction of a muscle that can cause pain and functional impairment.
  • Arthritis-related problems: inflammation of the joints that can affect the facet joints of the spine, causing pain very similar to that of a herniated disc.

Preventive measures to avoid the onset or aggravation of a slipped disc

Adopt an appropriate work posture

Make sure you sit correctly and maintain proper spinal alignment during work activities. Lumbar support and regular breaks for standing and stretching can also be beneficial.

Staying active

Incorporating regular exercise, such as walking, yoga or swimming, can help maintain the health of your back and prevent problems associated with disc overflows.

Maintain a healthy body weight

Excess weight can put excessive pressure on the spine, increasing the risk of developing or aggravating a disc overhang. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.

Managing disc overhang at work

Follow these recommendations:

  • Ask forreasonable accommodation: if necessary, talk to your employer about the possibility of temporarily or permanently adapting your workstation (e.g. using an ergonomic chair, standing chair or sit-stand desk).
  • Avoid heavy lifting : this can put unnecessary pressure on the spine and aggravate an existing disc overhang.
  • Use technical aids to facilitate movement: for example, use mobile carts or back support belts when moving heavy objects.

Degenerative disc disease: a risk to be taken into account

Degenerative disc disease is a condition characterized by the progressive, natural deterioration of the intervertebral discs. This phenomenon can increase the risk of developing a slipped disc. It is therefore crucial to implement preventive strategies and consult a health professional on a regular basis to monitor the evolution of your condition.

In short, the challenge of working with a slipped disc is not insurmountable. However, it does require active management of your condition, as well as good communication with your employer and doctor to ensure that everything is done to ensure continuity at work while preserving your health.