Sunday, 25 October 2020

Disc Prolapse

A prolapsed disc, often known as slipped disc, brings with it chronic pain in the lower back. The disc doesn’t slip in any way but the inner part of the disc bulges out through a weakness in the disc’s outer part. This causes inflammation and also irritates nerve/nerves. The size of the prolapse varies, and the bigger the prolapse the more painful it may be.

Who can get a Disc Prolapse?

Slight back pain is common and experienced by many people, however, the percentage of people who may suffer from a prolapsed disc is one in twenty. Generally, it happens to people who are aged between 30 to 50 years of age. This problem is found more commonly in men than in women.

What can cause a Disc Prolapse?

There are no certain causes of a disc prolapse, and it is not really known why it happens to some people and not to some. It has been observed that the tender and soft inner portion of the disc protrudes over the outer ring due to activities like:

  • Lifting objects
  • Sitting for long periods of time
  • Weight-bearing sports

Factors like:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Increase in age, can also lead to disc prolapse.

What symptoms should I look out for?

Most people who suffer a disc prolapse, experience neck pain and back pain, as the outer ring of the backbone becomes weak and starts to tear down. Another common symptom is numbness and pain in one side of the body and extends to the arms or legs. Sometimes the pain can get worse at night. In some cases, the symptoms ease in a few weeks, but for some people, it continues.

What are the effects of Disc Prolapse?

A disc prolapse may have the following effects:

  • A delay in the treatment can cause damage to the nerves
  • If the prolapsed disc cuts off nerve impulses, it can lead to loss of bladder or bowel control
  • The compression of nerves can cause loss of sensation in the inner thighs and back of the legs

How to Deal with a Disc Prolapse?

If you have had persistent back pain consulting a doctor would be the right thing to do. As discussed, delayed treatment of prolapsed disc can cause more harm. Your doctor would be able to diagnose if you are suffering from a disc prolapse or not.

In consultation with your doctor, you can do light exercises as being fit and active will strengthen your muscles and offer support to your spine.

Blog reviewed by: Dr Vineeth MB
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