What is a slipped disc: To support the bones present in the spine of our body, called vertebrae, are two small padded discs that help protect the spinal cord from injury due to shock. Apart from this, with the help of these discs, our spinal cord remains flexible. However, if one or both discs are damaged due to some cause or injury, they may open up causing inflammation or rupture, which is called a slip disc.
One thing to keep in mind is that just because of the name of slip discs it does not mean that these discs slip from their place in the spinal cord. Rather, it means that these discs are elongated or swollen beyond their normal limits, or that the outer wall of these discs has some kind of crack or hole, due to which the fluid in it is called the nucleus pulposus.
Yes, it starts leaking. Which can affect the spinal cord or its nearest nerve. This can lead to weakness in one arm or leg. Or the condition can affect both hands and feet.
A slip disc can occur in any part of the spine, but its most common problem affects the lower back. Its problem can usually affect more people with increasing age, especially between 35 and 50 years of age.
But due to changing lifestyles, its problem can be seen in young people also. Apart from this, the risk of slip disc can be almost twice in men compared to women. Also, the problem of being overweight can also increase its risk manifold. Because the extra body weight can cause more pressure on the discs in the lower part of the body.
There are three main types of slip discs, which include:
The problem of cervical disc slip occurs in the neck. Due to which there can be pain in the back of the head, neck, shoulder bone, arm and hand.
The problem of thoracic disc slip occurs in the middle part of the spine. This can cause pain in the middle of the back and shoulders, and sometimes pain in the neck, hands, fingers, feet, hips and toes. However, the chances of this happening are considered very rare.
The problem of lumbar disc slip occurs in the lower part of the spine. Due to which there may be a problem of pain in the lower back, hip, thigh, genital areas, feet and toes.
There are three main stages of a slip disc, which include:
Stage 1: Due to aging, there may be a problem of dehydration in the disc, which reduces its flexibility and it can become weak.
Stage 2: Due to aging, the fibrous layers of the disc begin to crack, due to which the fluid inside it can start coming out.
Stage 3: On reaching this stage, a part of the nucleus may break.
Stage 4: In the last stage, the fluid inside the disc starts coming out of the nucleus pulpous disc and leaking into the spinal cord.
Symptoms of a slip disc may include:
A slip disc can be caused by:
With increasing age, the spinal cord also starts to weaken, which can increase the pressure on these discs. Along with this, the bones of the disc are also affected due to aging, which can increase the risk of breaking, changing shape and cracking in them.
Falling, pushing, lifting a heavy object, doing any kind of exercise or doing any physical activity suddenly can put more pressure on the disc, which can lead to the problem of slip disc.
To diagnose a slip disc problem, the doctor may ask themselves about your symptoms and health condition. Based on which they may recommend you to have the following tests, which may include:
During the physical examination, the doctor may assess your physical condition during your normal walking, running, physical activities.
Your doctor may recommend an X-ray to check if an injury is causing your pain.
Through CT scan, it can be checked whether there has been any injury in your district or if there has been any change in its shape or direction.
With the help of an MRI test, it can be found out whether there has been any change in the location of your discs and how it is affecting the nervous system.
During a myelogram test, a type of dye is injected into the spinal cord as a fluid. After which an X-ray of the spinal cord is done. With this it can be checked what kind of pressure is being put on the spinal cord or nerves.
To prevent and reduce the risk of slip disc, you can take care of the following things:
To reduce the risk of slip disc problem, you can include the following foods in your diet:
You can use the following methods to treat a slip disc:
You can do proper exercises on the advice of your doctor to reduce the pain of slip disc, strengthen the back and surrounding muscles.
On the advice of your doctor, you can also take painkillers available at the medical store. In addition, your doctor may also recommend the following medicines:-
Your doctor may also recommend surgery if your problem persists after these methods and treatments. For which they can undergo microdiscectomy surgery. In this surgery, the surgeon removes only the damaged part of the disc or may insert an artificial disc.
If you have any kind of question related to this, then you can consult your doctor for more information about it.
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