In between the 24 bones of the spinal column are intervertebral discs. The discs are made up of a special type of cartilage that cushions and connects the bone to the one above and the one below it. This allows for proper spacing so the nerve roots can exit the spine between each joint. A disc can thin, bulge, herniate, protrude, or tear. Sometimes known as a “slipped disc “or “slip disc”.
The spinal discs are filled with a soft, gel-like substance. This provides cushion for the spinal column and the space between the bones. A healthy disc gives you flexibility and allows you to turn and bend normally. When we can move normally, this creates a pumping action which supplies the disc with proper nutrition.
When there is trauma or stress on the spine, this can cause the gel-like substance inside the disc to bulge into the space in between the bones. The disc itself doesn’t actually slip, but the fluid inside the disc leaks out. This fluid can irritate the nerve roots that exit between the bones and cause pain or symptoms.
What are some of the symptoms of a Slipped Disc?
• Severe Back Pain or Neck Pain
• Shooting or burning pain down one leg, hip, or buttock
• Tingling, numbness, weakness down one leg or foot
• Shooting or burning pain in the neck, shoulder, or arm
• Tingling, numbness, weakness down one shoulder or arm
Not everyone will experience all of these symptoms. The symptoms of a disc problem usually get worse after sitting or standing for a long time. It tends to worsen after coughing, sneezing or laughing. The pain may also get worse after bending backwards.
Are disc problems normal as we age?
No. Many disc problems result from years of repetitive stress on the body and not taking care of our spines. A lot of the time, symptoms don’t show up until the problem has been there for a long time. There are many elderly patients who have taken care of their spines throughout their lives who enjoy excellent spinal health and function.
What should I do if I have these symptoms?
Many people reach for some type of pain killers when they are in pain, but these medications carry some potentially dangerous side effects and address the symptoms, not the cause of the pain. Thus the pain seems to keep coming back.
The goal of the treatment for a slipped disc is to reduce pain, improve posture and function and prevent further joint damage. Most often the underlying cause can be easily cured with proper care and it does not mean that one needs to live in pain. So if you think you are suffering from a Slipped Disc or any other form of pain we will be happy to help you with it!