It is also commonly known as prolapsed intervertebral disc or slipped disc.
When you have a ‘slipped’ (prolapsed) disc, a disc does not actually slip. This condition occurs when the inner soft center of the spinal disc (the nucleus pulposus)
pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing. Some herniated discs cause no symptoms. Others can irritate (due to localized mechanical pressure or inflammation ) nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. Not every disc needs intervention. When needed, treatment includes medication, physical therapy and possibly surgery.
Any disc in the spine can prolapse. However, most prolapsed discs occur in the lower back (the lumbar spine). The size of the prolapse can vary. As a rule, the larger the prolapse, the more severe the symptoms are likely to be.
Understand your back
The spine is made up of many bones called vertebrae. These are roughly circular and between each vertebra is a disc. The discs are made of strong rubber-like tissue which allows the spine to
be fairly flexible. A disc has a stronger fibrous outer part and a softer jelly-like middle part called the nucleus pulposus.
The spinal cord, which contains the nerves that come from the brain, is protected by the spine. Nerves from the spinal cord come out from between the vertebrae to relay messages to and from various parts of the body. Strong ligaments attach to the vertebrae. These give extra support and strength to the spine. Various muscles also surround, and are attached to, various parts of the spine. (The muscles and ligaments are not shown in the diagram below, for clarity.)
What causes slipped disc ?
It is uncertain why some people develop a ‘slipped’ (prolapsed) disc and not others, even when they do the same job or lift the same sort of objects. It seems that some
people may have a weakness in the outer part of the affected disc. Variety of situations may trigger the herniation of disc. For example, sneezing, awkward bending, or heavy lifting in an awkward position may cause some extra pressure on the disc. In people with a weakness in a disc, this may be sufficient to cause a prolapse. Factors that may increase the risk of developing a prolapsed disc include:
A job involving lots of lifting.
A job involving lots of sitting (especially driving).
Weight-bearing sports (weightlifting, etc).
Being overweight (obesity).
Increasing age (a disc is more likely to develop a weakness with increasing age).
What are the symptoms of a prolapsed disc?
Some herniated discs cause no symptoms. but many may experience,
Pain areas: in the back and leg, lower back,
arm, back, foot, or leg
Sensory: leg numbness, pins and needles, reduced sensation of touch, or uncomfortable tingling and burning
Muscular: muscle weakness, muscle spasms, or overactive reflexes Also common: foot numbness, hand numbness, numbness, or stiff neck
Nerve root pain : usually sciatica, numbness or weakness in part of a buttock, leg or foot. The exact site and type of symptoms depend on which nerve is affected.
Cauda equina syndrome – rare, but an emergency
Cauda equina syndrome is a particularly serious type of nerve root problem that can be caused by a prolapsed disc. This is a rare disorder where the nerves at the very bottom of the spinal cord are pressed on. This syndrome can cause low back pain plus:
Problems with bowel and bladder function (usually inability to pass urine).
Numbness in the saddle area around the back passage (anus).
Weakness in one or both legs.
This syndrome needs urgent treatment to preserve the nerves to the bladder and bowel from becoming permanently damaged. See a doctor immediately if you develop these symptoms.
Some people do not have symptoms
Research studies where routine back scans have been done on a large number of people have shown that some people have a prolapsed disc without any symptoms. It is thought that symptoms mainly occur if the prolapse causes pressure on or irritation of a nerve. This does not happen in all cases. Some prolapses may be small, or occur away from the nerves and cause minor or no symptoms.
How does a prolapsed disc progress?
In most cases, the symptoms tend to improve over a few weeks. Research studies of repeated MRI scans have shown that the bulging prolapsed portion of the disc tends to get smaller (regress) over time in most cases. The symptoms then tend to ease and, in may cases, go. In only about 1 in 10 cases is the pain still bad enough after six weeks to consider surgery.
Do I need any tests?
Our doctor will normally be able to diagnose a ‘slipped’ (prolapsed) disc from the symptoms and by examining you. (It is the common cause of sudden back pain with nerve root symptoms.) In most cases, no tests are needed.
Tests such as X-rays or scans may be advised if symptoms persist for very long. In particular, an MRI scan can show the site and size of a prolapsed disc. This
information is needed if treatment with surgery is being considered.
What are the treatments for a prolapsed disc?
Exercise and keep going
Continue with normal activities as far as possible. This may not be possible at first if the pain is very bad. However, move around as soon as possible and get back into normal activities as soon as you are able. As a rule, don’t do anything that increases your pain. However, you will have to accept some discomfort when you are trying to keep active.
In the past, advice had been to rest until the pain eases. It is now known that this was wrong. You are likely to recover more quickly and are less likely to develop persistent (chronic) back pain if you keep active when you have back pain rather than rest a lot. Also, sleep in the most naturally comfortable position on whatever is
the most comfortable surface. (Advice given in the past used to be to sleep on a firm mattress. However, there is no evidence to say that a firm mattress is better than any other type of mattress for people with back pain.)
Can further bouts of back pain and/or prolapsed disc be prevented?
Evidence suggests that the best way to prevent bouts of back pain and ‘slipped’ (prolapsed) disc is simply to keep active and to exercise regularly. This means general fitness exercise such as walking, running, swimming, etc. There is no firm evidence to say that any particular back strengthening exercises are more useful
than simply keeping fit and active. It is also sensible to be back-aware. For example, do not lift objects when you are in an awkward twisting posture.
Modern medicine generally offers you Paracetamol, Anti-inflammatory, a strong pain killer or a muscle relaxant at the most which can temporarily take care of your pain
Homeopathy Treatment of Slipped Disk
Homeopathy has more than 200 medicines in various different potencies prescribed considering your physical problem along with overall constitution – person as a whole, which are very well capable of easing your pain, healing your inflammation, strengthening your muscle fibres and spine leading to complete recovery. As it strengthens your back and spine muscles it takes care of distress or any future relapse as well.
Accurate Homeopathic treatment from Welling Homeopathy Clinic along with suggested physiotherapy exercise by our clinically sound and well experienced doctors will definitely make a big difference to your health and hence your life.
Surgery may be an option in some cases, if symptoms don’t settle for a long time.
Our statistics suggest rate of patients requiring surgery is very low with effective Homeopathic treatment of slipped disk.