- by Dr Reginald Varadarajulu VSM
- 0 Shares
- Dec 23 2017
PROLAPSED DISC: CAUSES, SYMPTOMS & TREATMENTS
Prolapsed Disc, commonly known as “slipped disc”, is a condition caused by injury to the outer fibres of the intervertebral disc and the soft material known as the nucleus pulposus, ruptures out of its enclosed space. The ruptured disc enters the spinal canal, squashing the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. This is an extremely common condition, more frequent in middle aged and older people.
CAUSES & SYMPTOMS
Natural aging process is a common cause for this condition. Intervertebral discs lose water content, making them thin and weak. Other factors are:
- Heavy exercises.
- Improper lifting of heavy objects.
- Being inactive or overweight.
Common symptoms of a prolapsed disc are:
- Radiating pain down the legs, into the calves or feet.
- Tingling or pins and needles sensations in the affected area.
- Numbness, weakness, tingling in the feet, buttocks, legs or toes.
- Lower back pain that is accompanied by the inability to walk.
- Loss of ankle reflex.
- Muscle weakness.
- Pain in the neck.
- Pain in the sciatic nerve.
- Bed Rest
The doctor often prescribes bed rest and limited activity for some days. Strict bed rest is usually not advised because people with back pain have shown to recover more quickly with some normal activity.
Pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medications are prescribed to reduce the intensity of prolapsed disc symptoms. Receiving localized injections can also benefit patients experiencing a prolapsed disc.
In some extreme situations or in high risk cases involving permanent nerve damage, surgery is not considered easily. Spine and neck surgeries are complicated procedures and have a high risk of permanent nerve damage with a slim chance of success.
Getting an ice or cold pack treatment soon after an injury will help, followed by a heat treatment later. Heat may be used in the beginning if the pain is not caused by a sudden injury. Physical therapy, exercise, and massage can be helpful only after being prescribed by a specialist.
As we grow old, there is a natural spine degeneration of a certain degree. However, steps could be taken to reduce the risk of intervertebral disc problems.
- Exercise regularly.
- Stretch the right way.
- Improve your body posture; sitting, standing and sleeping.
- Quit smoking.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Avoid injury prone activities.
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