Slipped Disc, Sciatica, Bulging Disc Treatment
Your back is killing you, you have pain shooting down your leg, perhaps accompanied by a feeling of numbness or tingling – You know you need a specialist, but you are wondering how on earth am I going to get there? If this description resonates with you, chances are you may be suffering from what is commonly called a “slipped disc”. A Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc, as it is known in the medical world.
So what is a slipped disc, and why did it have to happen to me?
Slipped discs are extremely common, with a quarter of MRI scans showing signs of the condition, even in patients who report no symptoms. A slipped disc occurs when the circle of connective tissue surrounding the disc breaks down. This allows the soft, gel-like part of the disc to swell and protrude out which can wreak havoc by pressing on a major nerve at the point where it emerges from the spinal column. It is possible to have a slipped disc higher up the spine too, at the level of your chest or even your neck. But in this post I will only be discussing the very common event of a slipped disc occurring in the lower back region.
Most commonly, this is the sciatic nerve; the accompanying pain radiating down the buttock and/or leg, tingling and/or numbness is known as sciatica. The pain can range from mild to excruciating, and is usually felt in the lower back region as well as the buttocks and down one leg. The symptoms can also vary depending on whether the slipped disc is in the neck or lower back. An untreated, severe slipped disc can lead to permanent nerve damage.
What should you expect in Pain Remedial Clinic?
After taking a careful history and performing a thorough physical examination, testing your muscles, sensation and deep tendon reflexes, we will determine where the problem is and treat accordingly. We use a range of techniques to get you on the road to recovery and also advise you on the best ways to resume your usual routine.
An ounce of prevention
So what can you do to reduce the chances of a slipped disc occurring in the first place? There are widely recommended tips for looking after your back, and it’s wise to follow them. Be sure you are familiar with correct methods of lifting, especially if your job or lifestyle means you must frequently lift heavy loads. Do not lift an excessive weight – no matter what your boss demands. When sitting at a desk, make sure your chair is the correct height for the desk. Your feet should be able to rest flat on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Good luck with your back, and don’t lose heart – remember, most people eventually recover from a slipped disc.