What is a Slipped Disc?
Don’t let the name fool you! A slipped disc by no way means that any part of your spinal disc has ‘slipped’ out of place. This is just another term doctors use to describe a bulging, herniated, ruptured or torn disc. A slipped disc occurs the same way as the others; because of a rupture in the center nucleus that is pushed or forced outside. Where the slipped disc is will depend on where you feel pain. If the slippage is located in the neck, shoulder pain is common. A slip detected in the lower back will generally affect the lower hips, legs and buttocks.
Slipped Disc Causes:
- Age – the spine naturally begins to deteriorate as you age, the leading cause of spinal injuries. As the water in your spine begins to dry, it will become stiff and weak over time.
- Injury – if the spine is directly affected because of mistreatment through poor back support or extremely heavy lifting and weak body movements, a slip can occur. More traumatic injuries at an early age can often lead to a slip disc later in life as well.
- Stress – the spine is an extremely stressed part of your body. The more pressure you put on it (through being overweight, moving too fast, not stretching, poor posture) the more likely it is to develop slipped disc.
Slipped Disc Symptoms:
Where the ‘slip’ has been detected will determine where you feel pain. For most, pain mostly occurs in the lower back of the spine. This means you might feel pain from your lower back down to your feet. Commonly, symptoms include tingling, spasms, numbing and weakness. For some, an extreme case of slipped disc can cause severe pain resulting in paralysis and problems in bodily functions. If symptoms are life-threatening, surgery must be done ASAP. Understanding where, when, and how a slipped disc has occurred is extremely important to determine how serious the condition is, and the likelihood of it becoming any worse.
Slipped Disc Treatment:
When the spine suffers from a slipped disc, common treatments include different methods of physical therapy, exercise and pain medications. Thankfully, most cases don’t result in extreme pain, and frequenting a pain killer when pain does arise is a successful option. For others who haven't felt much relief by natural treatment methods, injections can be given to reduce inflammation and pain from pressure.
These treatments are usually successful, and only is the rarest case is surgery needed. For those who suffer from unbearable pain and life-threatening symptoms from a slipped disc, open back surgery is offered. These surgery options are almost never needed but when they are, the doctors at West Medical ensure a minimally invasive procedure to help with overall, long term pain from a slipped disc. Surgery will either remove the part or parts causing the most pain to the spine.
The first step is to get a MRI or CT scan to correctly assess the situation. Get a comprehensive diagnosis by one of our spinal specialists, today! Call West Medical at (855) 690-0565 for more information.
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