With increase in age your body becomes more prone to Slipped Disc.
A Slipped Disc (Herniated/Slipped) occur when all or part of a disc is forced through a weakened part of the disc. This may place pressure on nearby nerves or the spinal cord.It mostly occur in any part of the spine, most often occurs in the lower back. Depending on where the herniated disc is, it can result in pain, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg.
Most Slipped Disc occur in the lower back, but they can also occur in the neck. Signs and symptoms depend on where the disc is situated and whether the disc is pressing on a nerve. Slipped discs usually affect one side of the body.
- Arm or leg pain. If your slipped disc is in your lower back, besides pain in your lower back, you’ll typically feel pain in your buttocks, thigh and calf. You might have pain in part of the foot as well.For a herniated disc in your neck, you’ll typically feel the most pain in your shoulder and arm. This pain might shoot into your arm or leg when you cough, sneeze or move into certain positions. Pain is often described as sharp or burning.
- Numbness or tingling. People who have a herniated disc often have radiating numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected nerves.
- Weakness. Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This can cause you to stumble, or affect your ability to lift or hold items.
Disc rupture is most often the result of a gradual, aging-related wear and tear called disc degeneration. As people age, the discs become less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing with even a minor strain or twist.
Most people can’t pinpoint the cause of their herniated disc. Sometimes, using the back muscles instead of the leg and thigh muscles to lift heavy objects can lead to a herniated disc, as can twisting and turning while lifting. Rarely, a traumatic event such as a fall or a blow to the back is the cause.
Factors that can increase the risk of a herniated disc include:
- Weight. Excess body weight causes extra stress on the discs in the lower back.
- Occupation. People with physically demanding jobs have a greater risk of back problems. Repetitive lifting, pulling, pushing, bending sideways and twisting also can increase the risk of a herniated disc.
- Genetics. Some people inherit a predisposition to developing a herniated disc.
- Smoking. It’s thought that smoking lessens the oxygen supply to discs, causing them to break down more quickly.
- Frequent driving. Being seated for long periods combined with the vibration from the motor vehicle engine can put pressure on the spine.
- Being sedentary. Regular exercise can help prevent a herniated disc.
To help prevent a Ruptured disc, do the following:
- Exercise. Strengthening the trunk muscles stabilizes and supports the spine.
- Maintain good posture. This reduces pressure on your spine and discs. Keep your back straight and aligned, particularly when sitting for long periods. Lift heavy objects properly, making your legs — not your back — do most of the work.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts more pressure on the spine and discs, making them more susceptible to herniation.
- Quit smoking. Avoid the use of any tobacco products.
Diagnosis of Ruptured Discs
Shreya Hospital at Ghaziabad is the best treatment center for Ruptured Discs and Spinal Stenosis. Orthopedic Specialists with vast experience and expertise are available for you 24/7 in multiple roasters.
During the physical exam, an Orthopedic Specialist will check your back for tenderness. You might be asked to lie flat and move your legs into various positions to help determine the cause of your pain.
Doctor may also perform a neurological exam to check your:
- Muscle strength
- Walking ability
- Ability to feel light touches, pinpricks or vibration
In most cases of slipped disc, a physical exam and a medical history are all that’s needed for a diagnosis. If the doctor suspects another condition or needs to see which nerves are affected, he or she may order one or more of the following tests.
- X-rays. Plain X-rays don’t detect herniated discs, but they can rule out other causes of back pain, such as an infection, tumor, spinal alignment issues or a broken bone.
- CT scan. A CT scanner takes a series of X-rays from different directions and then combines them to create cross-sectional images of the spinal column and the structures around it.
- MRI. Radio waves and a strong magnetic field are used to create images of the body’s internal structures. This test can be used to confirm the location of the herniated disc and to see which nerves are affected.
- Myelogram. A dye is injected into the spinal fluid before a CT scan is taken. This test can show pressure on the spinal cord or nerves due to multiple slippeded discs or other conditions.
Electromyograms and nerve conduction studies measure how well electrical impulses are moving along nerve tissue. This can help pinpoint the location of nerve damage.
- Nerve conduction study. This test measures electrical nerve impulses and functioning in the muscles and nerves through electrodes placed on the skin. The study measures the electrical impulses in nerve signals when a small current passes through the nerve.
- Electromyography (EMG). During an EMG, a doctor inserts a needle electrode through the skin into various muscles. The test evaluates the electrical activity of muscles when contracted and when at rest.
Conservative treatment — mainly modifying activities to avoid movement that causes pain and taking pain medication — relieves symptoms in most people within a few days or weeks.
- Nonprescription pain medications. If your pain is mild to moderate, your doctor might recommend pain medication available without a prescription, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve).
- Neuropathic drugs. These drugs affect nerve impulses to decrease the pain. They include gabapentin (Gralise, Horizant, Neurontin), pregabalin (Lyrica), duloxetine (Cymbalta, Drizalma Sprinkle), or venlafaxine (Effexor XR).
- Muscle relaxers. You might be prescribed these if you have muscle spasms. Sedation and dizziness are common side effects.
- Opioids. Because of the side effects of opioids and the potential for addiction, many doctors hesitate to prescribe them for disc herniation. If other medications don’t relieve your pain, your doctor might consider short-term use of opioids, such as codeine or an oxycodone-acetaminophen combination (Percocet, Oxycet). Sedation, nausea, confusion and constipation are possible side effects from these drugs.
- Cortisone injections. If your pain doesn’t improve with oral medications, your doctor might recommend a corticosteroid that can be injected into the area around the spinal nerves. Spinal imaging can help guide the needle.
Your doctor might suggest physical therapy to help with your pain. Physical therapists can show you positions and exercises designed to minimize the pain of a herniated disc.
Few people with slipped discs require surgery. Your doctor might suggest surgery if conservative treatments fail to improve your symptoms after six weeks, especially if you continue to have:
- Poorly controlled pain
- Numbness or weakness
- Difficulty standing or walking
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
In nearly all cases, surgeons can remove just the protruding portion of the disc. Rarely, the entire disc must be removed. In these cases, the vertebrae might need to be fused with a bone graft.
To allow the process of bone fusion, which takes months, metal hardware is placed in the spine to provide spinal stability. Rarely, your surgeon might suggest the implantation of an artificial disc.