What is a Slipped Disc?

A slipped disc is medically known as a prolapsed disc. When the hard, outer portion of the disc weakens, a slipped disk occurs. Next, the soft inner portion leaks through. As a result, compressing or irritating of sensitive spinal nerves occur.

Lets back it up a little and talk about the spinal column. Its made up of bones that are stacked on top of each other. There are three parts that your spinal column makeup. Such as the cervical spine, thoracic spine and lumbar spine. These bones are cushioned by disks. The discs protect the bones by absorbing the shocks from activities. These activities include walking, twisting, and lifting.

When breaking it down, each disc has two parts; a gel-like inner cushion, and a hard outer shell. After an injury occurs, it weakens the soft-like inner gel. As a result, causing protrusion through the tough outer shell. When this occurs, pain and discomfort are typically present. Sometimes a slipped disk can even compress a spinal nerve. Eventually, causing numbness and weakness in the affected area.

Nonetheless, some slipped disks don’t cause any pain at all and treatment is only required if ongoing pain is experienced or if the discomfort begins to interfere and affect a patient’s quality of life.

slipped disc causes and symptoms

Slipped Disc Symptoms

  • Severe pain. Located on one side of the body.
  • Radiating pain down into the legs or into the calves or feet.
  • Tingling or pins-and-needles sensations.
  • Numbness or weakness. Occuring in the buttocks, legs or feet.
  • Unexplained pain that worsens at night.

Slipped Disc Causes

  • Repeated improper movements. Due to sports, improper lifting or too much sitting.
  • Unexpected or sudden trauma or accident.
  • The natural aging process.
  • Smoking.
  • Obesity and lack of exercise.

Slipped Disc Treatments

The possible treatment for a slipped disc is evaluated and discussed after a careful examination of tests and a proper diagnosis is concluded. There are  non-surgical and surgical options to treat a slipped disc. However, this  depends on the degree of the slipped disc. The patient’s response to the non-invasive treatments is taken into consideration, too.

Non Operative Treatments

Medications and non-surgical treatments, such as physical therapy are a good conservative option. However, occasionally epidural injections are indicated for pain relief (and sometimes diagnosis). Eventually, surgery can be considered for those who do not improve.

One of the basics approach of physical therapy when treating a slipped disk is targeted at stretching and constant exercises. This aids in rehabilitation and helps strengthen the back muscles.

Surgical Treatments

Nowadays, most surgical procedures to treat slipped discs are minimally invasive. That being the case, a hospital stay is not required. As a matter of fact, SOC is well known for its success rate in treating slipped disc.  However, there are many common surgical procedures for slipped disc, such as:

Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion Instrumented

First, the ruptured disc is removed. Next, it is then replaced by a bone graft. Lastly, an anterior cervical plate is implanted for stability.

Posterior Cervical Laminotomy

The spinous process and lamina are removed to decrease pressure on the spinal cord. Instrumentation may also be used to increase post-operative stability.

Lumbar Partial Discectomy

Removal of the slipped portion relieves pressure on the painful nerve.

For more information on slipped disks and possible treatment options, call our specialists at 1-888-409-8006