Most of us may experience some kind of back problem in our life time. As back pain is so common that sometimes, a slipped disc could be missed or misdiagnosed as simply back pain. Your doctor may diagnose it a trapped nerve or muscle strain. If you have a history of back trouble, it may well be diagnosed as a continuation of this existing condition.
By understanding what a slipped disc is can help us look out for the symptoms of this very painful and debilitating condition.
The spine is made up of a number of bones which are given the necessary cushioning by small and spongy discs. These discs act as shock absorbers and they help maintain us in good health. When the disc gets damaged, it may rupture, this is known as a slipped disc.
Slipped disc generally refers to portions of an abnormal or degenerated disc protruding against nerve tissue. The leaking jellylike substance can place pressure on the spinal cord or on a single nerve fibre and causes pain. The most common area affected is the lower back though any disc can rupture, including those in the neck.
There are mainly three causes of a slipped disc: wear and tear, spinal injury and being overweight.
As we grow older, the less flexible the discs in our spine become. They are then prone to injury during strenuous exercise or prolonged physical activity. Being overweight can also put pressure on the discs and lead to a slipped disc.
A slipped disc can put pressure on the nerve roots which in turn causes excruciating pain in the whole body. If the slipped disc is in the lower back, then you will experience pain and numbness starting from the leg to the buttock.
In some cases, the pain can be in the back or neck along with numbness or weakness in the corresponding organs, arms or legs. It can even lead to pain in the shoulder, arms or hands. Not places you would necessarily associate with a slipped disc.
A slipped disc in the lower back can cause tingling, weakness or pain in the buttocks, back, legs or feet. It can also cause tingling around the anus or genitals. Pain in these areas could be associated with many simple causes and ignored, not associating them with a slipped disc. Any pain in the legs accompanied by uncontrolled bladder or bowels should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible, as this is known as equine syndrome.
Once having been correctly diagnosed with a slipped disc, the treatment is usually medication and some specific exercises. Depending on how bad the slipped disc is, recovery can often take several months. Although it is tempting to stay in bed, this is not advisable long term as it can weaken the muscles. So mild activities are advised, but always take advice from your doctor as to the correct amount of activity you should do.
In most cases, some medication plus moderate exercise are enough to resolve a slipped disc. Should they not work well, then you may need a surgery known as discectomy. This is often a last resort due to the potential for permanent nerve damage.
If at initial stage while you don’t suspect it could be slipped disc, you might want to try wearing some health clothing. Many medical studies on the effect of negative ions have suggested that by just wearing clothing or other apparels / accessories that are made of negative ion fabric might be able to reduce or even stop the pain.
The information and content provided within this article, or this website, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as definitive medical advice or substitute for professional medical expertise and/or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health/medical professionals with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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