Slip Intervertebral Disc

The prevalence of a slip disc mainly relates to jobs like computer work, which are performed sitting for a long time. A slipped disc is a common problem. It has become a fad to say, “I have a slip disc”. Even for any kind of spine-related pain, the disc is suspected as the main cause. Recommending surgery for correcting the disc is also very common.

Our back bone is made of 33 bone segments. Of these 24 are free to move, while others are fixed. A cushioning disc exists between all the movable bones, except the upper cervical C1 and C2. The disc helps each segment freely move over the disc, making the spine flexible to move in different directions.

Thoracic (upper-back) areas are stiffer because of the rib cage and have very limited motion. So a disc prolapse is very rare in thoracic region.

The disc acts as a shock absorber to the backbone and is made of jelly-like water content called nucleus pulposus and fibrous tissues called annulus fibrosis.

The nucleus is at the center of the disc contained by the tight bands of annulus. The upper- and lower-end of the disc is made of end-plate cartilage to house the vertebras.

Disc Disorders

A prolapsed disc doesn’t mean that it has slipped off from its normal position. Instead, the nucleus pulposus in the disc bulges through the weak covering portion (herniation).

Sometimes, the position of the disc changes (prolapse) slightly due to excess pressure, resulting in the inflammation and irritation of the nerve roots from the spinal cord.

The ruptured annulus fibrosis balloons out the nucleus pulposus (extrusion) and spills it around. Such a disc is known as the Sequestered Disc. It is a most serious condition.

This disc displacement can happen in any direction of the spine. Based on the site and side of displacement, neurological deficits like sensory or motor dysfunction and radiating pain with pin-pricking or tingling sensation occur.

Slip Disc Causes

Stress: The vertebral column structure helps it perform various kinds of motions that include forward and lateral flexion, extension and axial rotation.

During our day-to-day activities, we use one of or a combination of the above motions. This generates different stress forces on the disc:

  • Compressive stress because of bending forward (flexion), backward (extension) or to the side (lateral flexion)
  • Shear stress because of rotation

Excessive, different or prolonged stress can cause a slip disc.

Bad posture and altered vertebral alignment: These unevenly distribute the stress forces through the disc, leading to a distorted disc.

When people do their job with their spine in an awkward position for a long time, the spinal motion generates different stress forces on the abnormally aligned vertebrae and their discs. The stress ruptures the annulus fibrosis.

These result in shortening of the muscles, trigger point formation and muscle spasm, causing severe ache and radiating pain like the discogenic pain.

Prolonged sitting: The effects of that are increased mechanical stress and axial load on the spine. So, the compressive force exerts pressure on the disc, causing it to distort. The shear force during rotation, and the compressive force, ruptures the end-plate cartilage.

Sudden activities: Lifting heavy weight or lifting weight with rotation can cause more compressive and shear force, resulting in a teared or prolapsed disc.

During and after Pregnancy: This timeframe causes changes in the body, including structural and hormonal changes. The extra weight of the body adds additional weight on the spine. This changes the line of gravitational force, which may increase the curvature of the spine.

Hormones like relaxin lose all the ligaments attached to the joints, including the spine. Therefore, the disc may receive less support, resulting in its displacement. With relaxin, action pressure during delivery also imposes pressure on the disc at the lower-back. So, pregnancy back pain isn’t uncommon.

Aging: Degenerative changes of the disc due to aging.

Increased body weight: It can create excess pressure on the disc.

Sex in a bad posture: It may cause the disc to prolapse, especially in people who have hyper-flexible joints.

Sedentary life style

Slip / Herniated Disc Symptoms

A herniated disc can produce various symptoms, depending on the site and extent of the prolapse:

  • Localized pain on the neck or back
  • Pain numbness, which might radiate down to the limbs (sciatica, if prolapse is at the lower-back)
  • Pain might get worse during coughing, sneezing and by the application of pressure while defecating, sitting or walking.
  • Decreased ability to raise the leg straight. This symptom, however, could also be associated with other conditions like pyriformis syndrome, back muscle spasm and others.
  • Spinal deformities like side bending of spine(scoliosis) or straightening of neck or back curvature
  • Stiff neck or back
  • Weakness of single muscle or group of muscles in the limbs, loss of sensation, bladder and bowel dysfunction

Conventional Treatment for Slip / Herniated Discs

It includes taking rest, pain relieving medicine(s), muscle relaxant(s) or anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroid injection. Surgery may be performed if the pain does not respond to medicines.

Non-drug treatments include short wave, IFT, traction and exercise strengthening and deformity correction (if it exists). Wearing a cervical collar or a back-support belt is also a part of the non-drug therapy.

Do you still have Pain after the Conventional Treatment?

Many times even after disc replacement, the pain might remain or the chances of pain reoccurrence are very high. This is because the conventional treatment is focused on pain reduction and disc replacement.

The treatment doesn’t solve the further effects of your disc prolapse like the muscle spasm, trigger points, myofacial tightness and others.

As part of bodies protective reflex function, the muscles of surrounding the area of problem will go or strong protective spasm, if it is stays for longer time gradually develops many trigger points this will give terrible pain and stiffness Until all the pain causes are treated, your spinal deformity never gets corrected, and you will have frequent pain. Also, spasmotic muscles attached to the vertebras will further squeeze your vertebrae, leading to excess pressure on the disc again.

Physio Fusion Therapy (PFT) for Slip / Herniated Disc

PFT offers very effective treatment for disc prolapse that not only concentrates on reduction of pain, but also on all the effects of the injury, without medicines.

We treat your pain with 4 stages without drugs

Still have Pain after Disc Surgery?

If you have a disc prolapse with serious neurological deficit like bladder and bowel dysfunction, weakness and losing muscle bulk and other, you may need to have a surgery.

If you experience pain even after surgery, it may be because of persisting effects of the disc prolapse and trigger points on your neck, back or your limbs. Treating these effects will relieve you from pain.

Physio therapy has excellent releasing methods to give you relief from the pain.

Have you decided to opt for Disc Surgery?

Many time trigger points, prolonged spasm or soft-tissue injuries due to various reasons can generate severe pain and is normally confused with discogenic pain.

MRI is very accurate - even small changes of the disc can be detected.

Such changes, however, aren’t always the cause of the pain. It may be due to pre-existing trigger points or activated by disc changes.Many times if you treat those you can be freed from pain.

Advantages of PFT treatment for Slip Disc
Treatment focused on root causes of the problem
You can avoid spinal surgeries
Speedier pain reduction and recovery
No dugs for treatment
No electromagnetic waves for treatment
Releases stress points and triggering points from the muscles
Absolutely no side effect
Activates bodies natural healing mechanism
No diet restrictions
Chances of pain recurrence is very low if you follow the instructions and perform the exercises after recovery by PFT
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