disc extrusion

Disc extrusion: What is it, and what to do?

Article reviewed and approved by Dr. Ibtissama Boukas, physician specializing in family medicine 

What is disc extrusion, and how is it different from other types of herniated disc ? Is it serious (is an operation necessary)?

This popular article explains everything you need to know about disc extrusion.

Definition and anatomy

Disc extrusion is a specific type of disc herniation. There are 3 types of herniated disc: protrusion, extrusion and sequestration.

different types of herniated disc

Note: If you haven't already, familiarize yourself with the anatomy of the intervertebral disc to understand disc extrusion, and other types of disc herniation.

As a reminder, disc protrusion refers to a bulging caused by the pressure of the gelatinous nucleus on the fibers of the fibrous annulus. On the other hand, these fibers do not tear unlike other types of herniated disc. There is only a deformation of the intervertebral disc that can cause symptoms, or remain asymptomatic.

In the presence of disc extrusion, precisely, the outer wall of the intervertebral disc (called the fibrous ring) tears, causing the migration of the gelatinous nucleus (nucleus pulposus) outside the disc. This can potentially cause inflammation and irritate surrounding spinal nerves.

disc extrusion
Disc extrusion

Disc sequestration occurs when the gelatinous nucleus crosses the annulus fibrosis (as in the presence of disc extrusion) BUT it completely separates from the disc. Thus, the detached disc portion can "land" somewhere at the level of the Spinal canal, or nearby.

disc sequestration
Disc sequestration (source)

Thus, we understand that disc extrusion can lead to disc sequestration, although this is not always the case. It mainly occurs at the level of the cervical spine and Lumbar spine.


The causes are similar to those of herniated disc.

To know these reasons, see the following article.

Symptoms of the disease

Disc extrusion is sometimes asymptomatic. In the presence of nerve irritation or inflammation, it can cause pain, muscle spasms, and neurogenic symptoms (numbness, electric shock, tingling, etc.)

To know all the symptoms of herniated disc (including disc extrusion), see the following article.

The most important thing when suffering from disc extrusion is to eliminate a potentially serious condition (such as a compression of the cauda equina or a myelopathy). THE'medical imaging associated with a clinical examination will clarify the diagnosis and guide management.

To find out if your disc extrusion comes from a serious attack, see the following article. 


Many people think that disc extrusion is a serious type of disc herniation, and its treatment often requires surgery. This is far from true!

Despite the presence of disc extrusion, it is possible for the disc to heal spontaneously. Healing can also be optimized by treatment modalities as :

  • Medication
  • Physiotherapy (physiotherapy)
  • Osteopathy
  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Alternative medicine
  • Infiltration
  • surgery

In addition to the treatments mentioned above, there are several products and accessories available on the market to relieve pain related to disc extrusion. It should be remembered that these tools usually provide temporary relief, do not treat the cause, and therefore should be used sparingly.

Among the products recommended by our professionals, we have:

To know in detail the treatment options in the presence of disc extrusion (and other types of disc herniation), see the following article.

What about natural remedies?

Although they are not supported by solid scientific evidence, several natural products and home remedies are used to treat back pain, especially for their anti-inflammatory power.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of plants and essential oils that are effective in controlling pain and inflammation. The products are available on the site Country. Use promo code LOMBAFIT15 if you wish to obtain one of the following products, or any remedy aimed at relieving your symptoms and improving your quality of life:

  • Turmeric. Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers very powerful, turmeric is one of the most used plants in a culinary and therapeutic context. The composition of turmeric is essentially made of essential oils, vitamins (B1, B2, B6, C, E, K) and trace elements. But it is to its composition rich in curcumin and curcuminoids that we owe them and calm skin of this spice.
  • Ginger. In addition to the special flavor it brings to the kitchen and its aphrodisiac properties, ginger is a root well known for its anti-inflammatory powers. the gingerol gives it its anti-inflammatory action. It is an active component acting on the inflammatory pain related to chronic joint inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, rheumatic diseases, etc. It has been proven that this active element is also effective in acting on the inflammation linked to arthritis and sciatica. Ginger also has other benefits thanks to its high potassium content and its richness in trace elements (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium) and vitamins (provitamin and vitamin B9).
  • Omega-3s. Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that play a very important role in the functioning of our body. They are provided by food in three natural forms: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Beyond their action on the brain and the cardiovascular system, omega-3s prove very effective against inflammation. Indeed, they have the ability to act on the inflammatory mechanisms in osteoarthritis by slowing down cartilage destruction, thus they reduce the intensity of osteoarthritis pain. Since sciatica is most often linked to inflammation secondary to a herniated disc, it can also respond to omega-3s if you consume them regularly. 
  • Lemon eucalyptusEucalyptus is a plant most often used in the form of herbal tea or essential oil. She would have anti-inflammatory effects which give it the ability to act on the bone and joint pain in general and the pain of sciatica in particular.
  • wintergreen. Wintergreen is a shrub from which a very interesting essential oil is extracted. It is one of the most used essential oils in aromatherapy. This oil extracted from the shrub bearing the same name, is used in massage to relieve sciatica and act like a analgesic. Indeed, it provides a heating effect thanks to its ability toactivate blood circulation locally.


Was this article helpful to you?

Indicate your appreciation of the article

Readers rating 3.5 / 5. Number of votes 2

If you have benefited from this article...

Follow us on Youtube and Facebook

Sorry you couldn't find an answer to your questions!

Help us improve this article!

How can we improve the article?