There are many recognized spinal diseases; some are very common while others are rare. Spinal disease includes cervical spine diseases that occur in the neck vertebrae. There is huge flexibility allowed with the cervical spine and because of that, it is common for an individual to damage that area, especially after a long period of time. Some of the common cervical spine diseases include degenerative disc disease, cervical stenosis, and cervical disc herniation.
Spinal discs are round in diameter and flat on the top and bottom, and are attached securely to the vertebrae above and below them. The spinal cord is comprised of 33 vertebrae; the discs are somewhat pliant, providing shock absorption for the spine. The stresses sustained by the spine and changes due to aging, the disc is prone to injury, which in turn can lead to lower back pain, leg pain, and other symptoms such as numbness and weakness.
What is the cause of slipped disc?
A violent injury can lead to damage a disc, but a disc also gets damaged due to ageing. The daily activities like lifting or shifting heavy things in wrong process, stretching, wrong body posture while playing games like volley ball or tennis and even fall down can injure the discs. In such situations the fibrous covering of the disc gets distorted and this leads to press on the spinal nerve. Sometimes it is seen that the disc swells, gets degenerated or even the fibrous material tears without any tangible injury or cause.
Degenerative disc disease occurs over time when the discs within each vertebra in the neck begin to fall apart and become worse as each vertebra can cause pain in different areas of the body, the pain from the disease can be sensed in the back, leg, neck area or even the arms. When the spinal canal begins to lose its gap and gets thinner, it can cause pain in the neck, which can also cause a numb feeling in the arms and hands.
Sometimes it is noticed that the disc problems accrue together with degenerative disc. This is at times severe in some people that results in collagen deficiency, this is the material that forms the cartilage. Poor muscle tone, obesity and wrong posture also strains the spine along with the ligament that holds the disc.
What are the symptoms of disc problems?
The damaged spinal disc may not always have physical symptoms, but if the disc problems directly hit the spinal nerves the following symptoms may occur:
- There may be pin point pain at back and sometimes even in both legs. This pain may start immediately after injury or exertion or may even occur later
- Difficulty while bending down or straightening of back along with severe pain
- Tingling sense or numbness in arms and legs
- Gradually develop pain in neck or lower back pain while changing from prone positions or while coughing and sneezing
- Progressive strength loss in one or both arms and legs
A doctor consultation is necessary if the pain is severe. Neurological tests must be done to detect the right problem.
Treatment of slipped disc
Slipped disc problems are mostly found among 30-50 years age people. Women are more prone to sleep disc issue than men, in most cases this issue gets resolved within four to six weeks with little rest, exercise, medicine and physiotherapy. The treatment will depend on the severity of the pain. In this condition it is very essential to keep all organs active for better improvement and stopping normal activity due to pain may lead to major issues.
Physiotherapy for slipped disc
Physiotherapy for slipped disc is very effective, though in physiotherapy reduces the stiffness of the muscle and gradually the pain also goes away. Experienced physiotherapist suggests the right exercise to process the treatment.
Rest for pain relief
Most doctors often advice for temporary rest, encourage for physical activity and prescribes pain relief medicine. In some cases corticosteroids are given as tablets or injected around the spinal nerves as needed.
TENS is one of the best advanced treatment options that stands for Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, the treatment is carried through TENS device applies a small electric current into critical points along the nerve path.
This is a non-surgical treatment and has significant results.
This treatment constitutes a hollow needle to remove some of the soft core of the inflamed disc and it does not impinge on the nerve. Other methods can emit the fragments of the core disc material that breaks the outer wall of the fiber.
Discectomy is a surgical method of removing a part of the herniated disc that reduces the stress on the nerve. In this method the core of the disc is removed and leaves back the outer casing of the vertebrae.
Spinal fusion is implemented for back instability to bring long term relief.
Laminectomy also involves surgery where a small portion of the vertebral bone is removed to relive pressure on the nearby spinal nerves.
Disc replacement is used for artificial replacement of the damaged part. This is the advanced treatment procedure which has long term success of disc replacement.
It is always recommended to include some exercises and physical activities in daily life to keep back pain and slipped disc like issues at bay. You must always consult a doctor before consuming any pain-killer medicines.