What is a slipped disc?
A “slipped disc” refers to an intervertebral disc of the spine that has lost its shape or consistency. These discs are typically tasked with absorbing shock between the vertebrae, but with injury or age-related wear and tear these discs may weaken and bulge into the space within your spine containing the sensitive spinal nerves. As these nerves get irritated by the disc, patients will notice the development of pain. Our physicians at Remedy Pain Solutions are specially trained to accurately diagnose and treat slipped discs.
What are the symptoms of slipped discs?
- Pain and numbness, most commonly on one side of the body
- Pain that extends into the arms or legs
- Pain that worsens at night or with certain movements
- Pain that worsens after standing or sitting
- Pain when walking short distances
- Unexplained muscle weakness
- Tingling, aching, or burning sensations in the affected area
What causes a slipped disc?
- Sudden bending, lifting, or twisting movements
- Weight-bearing exercises
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Elevated body weight
- More common in men than women
How are slipped discs diagnosed?
- Physical exam
- CT scans
- MRI scans
What are the complications of a slipped disc?
- If left untreated, permanent nerve damage can occur. For this reason, timely diagnosis and treatment are essential.
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Loss of sensation to the pelvis or legs
How are slipped discs treated?
- Physical therapy/exercise program
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories
- Avoid heavy lifting and painful positions
- Prescription medications
- Injection therapies, such as an epidural steroid injection
Is it possible to prevent a slipped disc?
- Use safe lifting techniques: bend and lift from the knees and not the waist
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Do not remain seated for long periods of time; get up and stretch periodically
- Do exercises to strengthen the muscles in your back, legs, and abdomen
Accurate diagnosis of a slipped disc may be difficult without appropriate physical exams and diagnostic testing, making it important to seek evaluation by a specialist. Our physicians at Remedy Pain Solutions are specially trained to both diagnose and treat the symptoms associated with slipped discs. If you are having pain in the back or legs and are concerned that you may have injured your spine, contact us at Remedy Pain Solutions to set up an appointment today.