- by Specialist Hospital
- 1 Shares
- Dec 14 2017
ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM SLIPPED DISK?
Our spinal cord is made of several bones that are stacked one on top of the other. These 26 bones are cushioned by disks. Everyday activities sometimes have shocks and jolts which these disks protect the spine from.
The disks are mainly of two parts- the strong outer ring and inner gelatinous portion. Slipped disk is a condition that arises when the inner portion protrudes out due to injury, weakness or over exertion. If the slipped disk compresses one of your nerves, you will experience discomfort and numbness.
Causes and Symptoms
A slipped disk occurs when the outer ring wears out or weakens, allowing the inner portion to slip out. This happens with age or due to certain activities or movements. Lifting heavy objects, sudden/awkward twists and turns can strain the spine greatly resulting in a slipped disk. It can also arise due to weakening of muscles because of sedentary lifestyle. Obesity is another factor that increases the risk as the spine cannot support the excess weight.
Although a slipped disk can occur anywhere in the spine, the lower spine is more prone to it. How do you know if you have one?
- Pain and numbness on a particular side of the body
- Painful arms or legs
- Certain movements cause extreme pain
- Pain that worsens at night
- Muscle weakness
- Aching or burning sensation in the affected area
These are the common symptoms of a slipped disk and it is best you see a doctor if these symptoms worsen or don’t go away after a few days.
Diagnosis and treatment
The doctor will first perform a physical examination to understand the root cause of the problem. They find out where exactly the pain is in the affected area and ask you what symptoms you’re experiencing. To identify the specific problem and damage they will ask you to take an X-ray or other scans to determine the cause for your discomfort.
After diagnosis, based on the level of discomfort and how far your disk has slipped, treatment is provided. Specific exercises to target the pain and painkillers to help reduce the symptoms are prescribed. If these aren’t effective, strong medication like muscle relaxers or narcotics are prescribed.
In serious cases, the doctors recommend surgery to remove the protruding portion and prevent nerves from getting compressed or muscle functions from being hampered. While in severe cases, the disk is removed and vertebrae are fused together to provide more stability the spine.
In order to prevent a slipped disk avoid lifting very heavy weights and exercise regularly not just to maintain your weight but to strengthen your muscles and spine. It is important that you consult a doctor if you have the symptoms because if slipped disks are not attended to, the can cause permanent nerve damage which can cause loss of coordination or muscle functions.
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