What Is A Slipped Disc

Tablet with the text Slipped disc on the displayA slipped disc is known to medical professionals as a spinal disc herniation. It can happen at any age and is most common in males. This is likely due to them lifting heavier objects. A herniated disc can also be caused by other athletic activities. Some slipped disc injuries have even occurred while the patient was walking. A patient can easily avoid a slipped disc from occurring if he or she sticks to athletic activities within his skill range.

What Is A Slipped Disc?

Many who have back pain want to know the source of it. They have heard that this pain can be caused by a spinal injury, forcing them to ask themselves exactly just what is a slipped disc?

A slipped disc is caused by a tear in the outer-fibrous ring. This ring is part of a larger structure called an intervertebral disc. When a tear in the fibrous ring of the disc occurs, it allows soft tissue to fall out beyond the structure of the spine.

A Developing Disc Protrusion

This is the condition that often comes before a slipped disc. It is also painful, so it can be caught by the patient before a slipped disc occurs. Many patients do not seek medical attention due to the symptoms of disc protrusion. It’s more common for them to turn to pain killers like Aleve.

A disc protrusion is a condition that allows the fibrous layer to bulge when it is put under strain. The fibrous ring’s outer layer is still intact. Therefore, soft tissue does not leak from the spine.

Medical Attention For A Slipped Disc

A lot of patients are surprised to find that there are only two cures for a slipped disc. The first is waiting for it to heal. A slipped disc will go away on its own in most patients. This process takes around three weeks, depending on the patient’s age.

Patients are often encouraged by physicians to take anti-inflammatory medications to deal with the pain of their slipped disc until it heals. In some cases, a stronger pain reliever is needed. Physicians will sometimes use an epidural to completely alleviate the sensation of a slipped disc.

After several months of no improvement and continuous pain, a physician may recommend surgery. Surgery is a last resort for a slipped disc that shows no signs of healing on its own. Most patients never require surgery for improvement. Only a quarter of patients who have sought medical attention for their slipped disc end up undergoing a procedure.

Education Can Prevent The Injury

Education is extremely important in preventing this painful condition. Patients wishing to avoid this should realize that there are a lot of physical habits which can cause it to happen. Even bad posture can cause the fibrous disc to tear. The patient would have to keep up the practice of standing with bad posture for dozens of years. However, it is never too early to develop sensible habits that may prevent a painful condition in the future.