We begin with a consultation to better understand you and your condition
Herniated Disc (Slipped Disc)
Spinal discs are the gel-like round cushions that sit between the spinal joints. They are buffers, or "shock absorbers" between the vertebrae, and they help us to move and bend easily. A herniated disc, or colloquially called a slipped disc, is when the spinal disc has a tear or a leak. While it can happen anywhere on the spine, it is most commonly found in the lumbar (low back) or the cervical (neck) region.
If the dic hernia occurs in the lumbar region, there will be usually a complaint of pain in the lower back, and common symptoms also include pain on the buttocks, thigh and calf. For the cervical disc hernia, symptoms can present itself as pain on the neck, shoulder, and shooting pain down the arm. Coughing, sneezing, or sudden bending movements (such as bending to tie a shoelace, or to pick up a pen from the floor) may incur sudden "electric shocks" down the arm. There can also be complaints of numbness and weakness down the associated limbs, affecting the ability to lift or hold items, or it can cause stumbling when walking. Some describe a burning sensation down the affected limbs as well, and it may also affect sleeping patterns at night.
One of the biggest risk factor is age. Many people cannot pinpoint the exact cause of their herniated disc, as the disc degeneration (wear and tear) can gradually worsen over time. However, lack of physical activity can lead to weak abdominal and back muscles, which gives much less support to the spine. Injuries tend the happen when people who are not usually physically active participate in suddenly strenuous activities, such as house moving, or heavy lifting. Occupations that involved repetitive lifting and pulling are also at risk for disc herniation.
Medication can help to reduce the intensity of the symptoms, However, opioids alone may not resolve the nerve pinch and the associated radiating pain. Bracing for the low back or the neck can reduce the stress on the spine, especially when there is already a disc that is herniated. Maintaining a good posture can reduce risks of getting a herniated disc by minimising stress on the spinal joints and intervertebral discs, for example lifting heavy items with your legs and not your back, or keeping your back aligned when sitting for an extended period of time. Conservative therapy - chiropractic and physiotherapy - is also able to relieve the symptoms of pain and radiculopathy down the limbs. Combined with rehabilitative exercises and a change to lifestyle, recovery from herniated disc is very possible.