What is a Slipped Disc? - First Health PT - Back Doctor in Midtown
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What is a Slipped Disc?

Do you regularly lift heavy objects in your daily life? Are you currently experiencing pain in your back or your extremities?  This could possibly be a sign that you have developed a slipped disc. If you have concerns and are interested in seeking treatment, then look no further than First Health Physical Therapy.  We have the best back doctor in Midtown!  Contact us and let us treat you and help reduce your pain.

What is a Slipped Disc?

Your spine is composed of a stacked arrangement of small bones, or vertebrae, that are cushioned by discs that help to protect them.  These discs not only keep your bones in place, but also allow you to flex your spine and absorb any shocks to your spine during your participation in daily activities.  Each disc is composed of a soft, jelly-like inner portion, or nucleus, and a rough exterior, also known as the annulus. A slipped disc or herniated disc occurs when the inner portion of your disc protrudes to the exterior due to a tear in the annulus.  If pressure is then applied to nearby nerves, it could cause them to become irritated and inflamed. 

Causes of a Slipped Disc

Slipped discs are commonly seen in men and middle-aged adults, as the discs typically become worn out and stiffened with age.  The degeneration of your discs limits their flexibility, increasing the risk of tears.  In other instances, a slipped disc may be caused by:

  • Too much pressure to your spine
  • Poor posture
  • Lifting heavy objects without the use of your leg muscles
  • Improper bending and twisting

There are additional risk factors that can increase your risk of having a slipped disc.  These include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having weak muscles
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle

Symptoms of a Slipped Disc

If you have a slipped disc in your lower back, it can affect areas, such as your feet, thighs, and buttocks.  If the slipped disc occurs in your neck or upper spine, it can affect your shoulders, arms, and hands.  The symptoms that you experience depend on the location of the slipped disc and whether or not it was compressing a nerve.  Although it is possible to experience no symptoms, one of the most common symptoms of a slipped disc is pain.  The pain can:

  • Be localized to one side of your body 
  • Spread to your arms and legs after coughing or sneezing
  • Worsen with certain movements

Additional symptoms include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Incontinence
  • Numbness
  • Burning sensation at the affected area

Treatment and Prevention

Some helpful tips for reducing the risk of developing a slip disc include:

  • Doing strengthening exercises
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Practicing safe lifting techniques
  • Moving around after long periods of sitting 

It is important that you do not delay seeking treatment, as it could cause you to have permanent nerve damage.  Our back doctor in Midtown can help you treat your slipped disc and create a personalized plan to help meet your needs.  Your physical therapist will first conduct an evaluation and perform tests in order to make a full assessment of the severity of your condition.  With physical therapy, you can expect to engage in a program that includes stretches and strengthening exercises for your back muscles.  Over time, you will also notice that your pain and discomfort is reduced.

Other treatment methods for a slipped disc include:

  • Surgery
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Other prescribed medications(i.e. Muscle relaxers or nerve pain medication)

Contact Our Back Doctor in Midtown at First Health PT!

If you suspect that you or someone you may know has a slipped disc, call or email us to schedule an appointment with our back doctor in Midtown!  If you would like additional information about our services, then feel free to visit our website.