We all have suffered a back pain at some point, and usually we tend to just ignore it or rest for a while to help ease the pain. But did you know that sudden and severe back pain could be a sign of something much more serious? Slipped disc is one such condition.DrAmitabh Gupta, Neuro and Spine Surgeon, Indian Spinal Injury Center, New Delhi, tells us about the condition, how it happens and what you can do to remedy it. Read more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of back pain.
A spinal disk is a cushiony body that lies between two vertebrae, and acts like a shock absorber. It is a pivot between the vertebrae and is formed from soft collagen. Whenever there is any pressure, distortion or injury to the spine, it leads to a slipped disc. (Read: Can I lift weights and exercise with sciatica (lower back pain)?)
A slipped disk may occur due to various reasons. In some cases, it is due to the normal wear and tear on the disk that is usually due to ageing. But if this condition is seen in an otherwise healthy individual, it may be caused due to overexerting the back, either by bending down in the wrong position or lifting something heavy.
Unfortunately, a person can suffer from a slipped disc in the normal course of a his/her day as well, either while doing some regular and common activities like changing positions while sleeping, driving for long hours or sitting in the wrong posture for long hours. (Read: The stilettos offer – get slipped disc, arthritis and other feet problems free!)
The symptoms of a slipped disc are fairly common and often extremely painful. Some of the glaring ones are –
- Severe and sudden back pain
- Numbness in legs and feet
- Muscle aches
- Weakness while walking
- Urinary incontinence
In most cases, a doctor will diagnose the patient and immediately prescribe pain killers and muscle relaxants. This is only symptomatic in nature and he/she will most probably require surgery or other non-surgical therapies to reverse the conditions.
One of the latest techniques used for treatment isspine fixation and key hole endoscopic surgery. This surgery is done under local anesthesia and is a day care surgery. The good thing about this procedure is that the patient can resume work the next day. This technique is latest in all minimally invasive techniques and is very effective for treatment of slipped disc patients.
The non-surgical options include spine manipulation, physiotherapy, etc. Some alternative therapies likeaccupuncturehave also been touted as effective remedies. (Read: Slipped disc: A holistic approach to its management and treatment)
Depending on how the patient is fairing, he/she may immediately go back to doing normal his/her normal activities. Albeit, with some care not to do things that could lead to a relapse of the condition for the first six months.
Here are few tips that people can do in their daily lives to avoid the condition.
- One should always take care that they don’t pick up anything from the ground by bending directly.
- They should ideally take the squatting position (by bending the knees first) and then pick up the object.
- People should also ensure that they sit straight while working on a computer or watching TV at home, preferably with adequate back support.
The content has been verified by
Dr Amitabh Gupta
, Neuro and Spine Surgeon, Indian Spinal Injury Center, New Delhi.