Contrary to what its name suggests, “Slipped Disc” does not imply that the disc has actually slipped out of place. Instead, it refers to the soft part of the disc which bulges through the circle of surrounding connective tissues, which leads to unnatural pressure being imposed on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots.
How Does It Occur?
One common cause is old age, which typically affects the lower back and the chest part of the spine. Other possible causes include prolonged physical labour, heavy weightlifting, or trauma suffered from sudden falls and automotive accidents.
It is interesting to note that some Slipped Disc sufferers do not encounter any noticeable symptoms. If pain is encountered, this is invariably due to the pressure on the nerve roots and/or spinal cord. Common symptoms include radiating pain or paralysis in the limbs, muscle spasms, loss of control in the bladder function, and loss of sensation in the rectum or inside thighs. Slipped Disc injuries in the lower back are most prevalent amongst the 30-50 age group; and for Slipped Disc in the cervical vertebrae at the neck; the 40-60 age group.
Slipped Disc injuries can be detected or diagnosed via a CT scan, MRI scan or Myelography.
Most Slipped Disc injuries are typically treated by painkillers and plenty of rest, with surgery only prescribed as a last resort. Chiropractic is highly recommended. Typical treatments include stretching exercises and use of ice and heat either together or separately. Neurological and Chiropractic tests are also applied to evaluate and monitor the patient’s condition. In case of any “red-flag” symptoms experienced, i.e. loss in bladder control, paralysis, muscle spasticity, etc, it is imperative to seek treatment immediately.