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What Is Slipped Disc And How Can It Be Treated

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What Is Slipped Disc And How Can It Be Treated

  • Dr. Charla Fischer
  • Jun 06, 2017

A slipped disc occurs when a soft gel-like inner portion of the disc leaks out to the outer tissues. The symptoms of a slipped disc may vary depending on the location where the slipped disc has occurred and if it compresses any of the spinal nerves which cause excessive and unbearable pain. The condition is more common among people in the age group 35-50. Your spinal column is made up of a number of bones that are stacked together, the column consists of 7 bones in the cervical spine from top to bottom, 5 in the lumbar spine, and 12 in thoracic spine followed by sacrum and coccyx at the base. These bones are protected by the discs which protect bones by absorbing shocks that are a result of day to day activities such as walking, lifting goods or twisting. Discs are made of a soft gelly like inner portion and a tough ring, weakness or injury can make this inner portion to leak out through the outer ring and this condition is called as slipped disc.

Symptoms of Slipped Disc

One can suffer from slipped disc in any part of the body ranging from neck to the lower back. The symptoms often include:
  • Pain and numbness mainly on one side of the body
  • Pain extends to the arms or legs
  • Pain gets worse during night
  • Pain gets worse after standing or sitting
  • There can be unexplained muscle weakness
  • Aching, tingling or burning sensation

Causes of slipped disc

Slipped disc occurs when the outer ring of the disk is torn out and the inner gel-like portion slips out. This usually happens as the person ages, there are certain motions that can lead to a slipped disc. Lifting a large or heavy object can put a strain on the lower back leading to slipped disc. A person who is involved in physically demanding jobs stands at higher chances of slipped disc. People who are overweight also have an increased risk of a slipped disc, because their disc needs to support additional weight. Sedentary lifestyle and weak muscles can also lead to the problem.

Slipped Disc Treatment

Slipped disc treatment may range from conservative to surgical. The treatment varies largely on the level of pain and discomfort it causes to the patient. Most people recover from this condition with the help of exercises program that includes stretching and strengthens back and muscles. These exercises are generally recommended by a physical therapist. The patients must avoid heavy lifting or take over-the-counter pain relievers to help combat the pain. One would want to refrain from physical exercises during pain, but this can lead to muscle weakness and joint stiffness. It is hence advised to stay as active as possible through low-impact activities such as walking and stretching. If the condition does not improve doctors may recommend surgery.

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