A slipped disc, also known as a herniated disc, is a condition in which a tear or rupture in the outer layer of the intervertebral disc causes it to become displaced or bulge out of position. This can occur in any part of the spine, but is most common in the lower back.
The intervertebral discs are gel-filled cushions that rest between the vertebrae in the spine and act as shock absorbers when we move. When a disc slips out of position, it can irritate nearby nerves, leading to pain, numbness and tingling in the affected area.
The most common cause of a slipped disc is age-related wear and tear on the discs. As we age, our discs become less flexible and more prone to tears or ruptures. Other causes include repetitive movements, poor posture, obesity, and trauma from an accident or injury.
The most common symptom of a slipped disc is pain, which is usually felt in the lower back and can radiate down the leg. Other symptoms may include numbness and tingling in the affected area, as well as muscle weakness. In some cases, a slipped disc may also cause bladder and bowel problems.
Treatment for a slipped disc will depend on the severity of the condition. Non-surgical treatments such as rest, heat/cold therapy, physical therapy, and medications can help reduce pain and inflammation. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the disc and relieve symptoms.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a slipped disc, it is important to seek medical attention in order to get an accurate diagnosis and the proper treatment. A slipped disc can cause serious complications if left untreated, so do not delay in seeking help.