Also referred to as herniated or prolapsed disc, a slipped disc occurs when the disc located in between the bones of the spine gets damaged and applies pressure on the nerve, causing symptoms such as back pain, tingling sensation and numbness in other parts of the body.
In most slipped disc cases, the problem gradually improves anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks. Lots of rest, mild exercises and the intake of medications prescribed by a doctor can be very beneficial for someone with a slipped disc.
There are several different medical treatments available for slipped disc. The goal is to ease the symptoms while allowing the problematic disc to heal, thus putting an end to the person’s spinal ordeal.
Analgesics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are administered to help deal with the back pain. With the pain relieved, the person may begin to move around a lot, something which can be very advantageous as physical activity may help promote the healing of a slipped disc.
Codeine and corticosteroids are stronger than the drugs mentioned above. These are prescribed by doctors if analgesics and NSAIDs fail to provide relief from the symptoms. There are instances when muscle relaxants are administered too. These drugs are helpful for someone who is experiencing tension in the muscles of the back or legs.
Physiotherapy is one of the most commonly employed treatments for slipped disc. This involves seeing a physiotherapist who uses massage, manipulation and other methods. He or she will come up with an exercise plan that is custom-made for the person suffering from a slipped disc. Other people with the condition also seek osteopathy and chiropractic care. Both of these solutions are said to be very effective in managing back pain that is commonly associated with slipped disc.
Surgery is another treatment for slipped disc, although it is usually the last resort. Medical authorities say that 1 in 10 cases of slipped disc call for surgery. This is especially true if the person fails to respond to medications, having difficulty with standing or walking, and there is sign of severe compression of the nerve.
During the surgery, the doctor will have to slice off the part of the disc that is bulging and applying pressure on the nerve. Such procedure is referred to as discectomy. There are times when the affected disc has to be completely removed and replaced with a prosthetic intervertebral disc.
It is highly recommendable for a person with a slipped disc to remain physically active. At first, it may be very challenging because of the pain and a handful of other symptoms. However, moving around can be really beneficial as it can help improve the symptoms and the condition itself.
Performing mild exercises on a regular basis helps in strengthening the back muscles. Reaching, lifting and sitting for a long time, however, have to be avoided to prevent the problem from worsening.
Doing abdominal isometrics is ideal most especially for an individual experiencing lower back pain. It involves doing a series of abdominal contractions while the person is on the floor or in bed. In order to really engage the muscles in the abdomen and lower back, leg movements have to be kept at bay during the routine.
Crunches are very popular among those who want to obtain washboard abs. Performing them is also beneficial for anyone with a slipped disc and want to attain relief from the symptoms it brings. It is a good idea for the individual to start with a few repetitions, gradually increasing the number of crunches performed.
Lumbar roll may also be performed to attain relief from back pain. This is carried out while lying on floor mat, with arms outstretched to the sides and the knees bent. Then the person has to slowly move his or her legs to the left side, then to the right side. Doing 5 times on each side every exercise session is recommended.