When You Have A Slipped Disc

slipped discSlipped disc in the cervical spine causes constant pain and worry, one of your primary goals is to get neck pain relief. Learning what a slipped disc is, what causes it and some treatment options is a great place to start your road to recovery for muscular relaxation and peace of mind. This article will give you some information that should point you in the right direction for getting pain relief.

What Is A Slipped Disc?

A slipped disc is a condition where a part of the cushioning disc bulges out of position. This bulging can eventually push on the spinal column or the nerves.

Amazingly, almost 20% of the population has a slipped disc with no obvious symptoms. But for some, a slipped disc in the neck can cause neck pain which can vary from mild to severe, depending on the location and the extent of the protrusion.

What Causes A Slipped Disc?

There are several possible causes for a slipped disc. One of those is the aging process.

In this case of aging, a slipped disc occurs when there is degeneration of the connective tissue as a person starts to age. This will make the soft part weak which later can cause swelling.

While the lower back is the commonly affected area for this condition, it may also occur in the upper back or neck sections of the spinal column.

Another cause of a slipped disc is overuse of the area. And a third cause is trauma or injury.

How Can A Slipped Disc Be Treated?

The preferred treatment of a slipped disc is non-surgical but surgeries may be done if other treatments did not work out. Usually, the treatment for this condition is by taking pain medications, perhaps in combination with anti-inflammatory drugs and rest.

The decision of having a surgery as part of the treatment depends on you and your doctor. Surgery is considered as an option if symptoms of too much pressure on the spinal cord are already felt. In cases where the patient starts to experience paralysis requires immediate emergency care to relieve the pressure soon followed by surgery.

A doctor should be seen right away if changes start to happen in your bladder and bowel habits or when you begin to experience muscle spasms and paralysis.

How Can Neck Pain Caused By A Slipped Disc Be Relieved?

The best neck pain relief treatment is usually physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy.  Physical therapy for the neck centers not only on how you can develop and build up your neck muscles, but also the ligaments and joints that support the vertebrae.

Physical therapy also focuses on accelerating your healing process to reduce pain and swelling. In addition, it teaches you on how to have the best body posture to keep your neck and spine aligned and healthy.

When you begin your therapy, a physical therapist will first get your medical history and ask you questions in order to best know the problem so they can develop a treatment plan.

There are a number of other treatment options like neck surgery and or taking medications.  But today there are also alternative treatments available that will relax and soothe your neck muscles to ease neck pain.

Alternative Treatments For A Slipped Cervical Disc

Perhaps the most popular treatment is massage. Massage therapy will help relax the muscles to prevent spasms.  This therapy is done for 30 minutes to an hour. You are asked to lie on a bed or sit on a chair then the therapist will start to work with their hands on the muscles and soft tissues of the body.

Another treatment is acupuncture. Acupuncture is a treatment where very thin needles are placed in specific areas in the skin. This is done to release hormones that could aid in pain relief and promote relaxation.

Neck pain caused by a slipped disc is definitely uncomfortable and may limit your lifestyle. But hopefully this article has helped you by looking some of your options for neck pain relief.

Symptoms of a Herniated Cervical Disc

Symptoms of a Herniated Neck DiscSymptoms of a herniated cervical disc in the neck, such as neck pain, are unfortunately, a common sign of discomfort for a number of adults.  The spinal cord is composed of diverse structures like bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. Each one of these structures contains nerve endings that can sense and communicate pain. So, a herniated cervical disc can really hurt!

HERNIATED CERVICAL DISC- WHAT CAUSES IT? 

There are two common reasons for a herniated disc; these are muscle disproportion and trauma. Muscle disproportion or imbalances cause abnormal pressure on the spinal disc and this pressure causes it to wear out. The worn out soft tissues will then come in contact with the nerves causing pain.

Trauma, another cause of herniated disc, may not always happen in just a blink of an eye. When a trauma happens you can be asymptomatic but it usually takes time for the nerves to be placed in a position to cause pain.

DO ALL PEOPLE EXPERIENCE HERNIATED DISC SYMPTOMS? 

No, surprisingly, not all people affected with this condition experiences any symptoms. However, if the herniated disc bears down on the spinal nerves, symptoms would start such as pain, loss of sensation, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness.

The extent and seriousness of these symptoms depends on the pressure that the herniated disc places on the spinal nerves. Herniated disc symptoms may be worse when you laugh, cough, urinate or strain while defecating.

One of the most common herniated disc symptoms is neck pain. The pain in the neck could radiate down into the shoulders, arms and travel down to the fingers. Your arms may start to weaken and you will have trouble moving your fingers.

PAIN CAUSED BY A HERNIATED DISC

Herniated disc symptoms like intense pain felt from the buttocks and down to the legs may happen if the herniated disc is in the lower back. One distinctive sign of a herniated disc in the lower back is pain felt below the knee. With this, you will feel weakness in the legs and you cannot lift your foot easily off the ground. Loss of bowel and bladder control is an urgent medical situation and immediate medical attention is needed.

Pain caused by a herniated disc is described as sharp and cutting. There are instances where you can say exactly where the pain is but it commonly radiates down the leg. The pain gets worse as it goes down the leg and its onset can be sudden.

A physical examination and medical history are necessary for a diagnosis. Your health care provider may want to find out what nerves are affected, and imaging tests are performed.

IMAGING TESTS

  • X-rays. Plain x-rays cannot detect a herniated disc but it can help to rule out causes of pain like tumor, broken bone or spinal mis-alignment.
  • CT or Computerized Tomography Scan. A CT scan takes a clear picture of the area from different angles then integrates it to produce a cross-sectional image of the spinal cord and its structures.
  • MRI is also a test used to verify the location of the herniated disc and to see what nerves are affected. Pictures of the structures are obtained through magnetic field and radio waves.
  • Myelogram, a procedure where a dye is injected to the spinal fluid then x-rays are taken, is used to know the amount of pressure on the spinal cord and to determine the area of the herniated disc.

If you start to experience herniated cervical disc symptoms, go to your health care provider right away. Early detection of this condition can prevent it from getting worse.