Foot Care Fairbanks - Slipped disc refers to a spinal disc being put under pressure between two vertebrae, resulting in mild to severe pain. A slipped disc is likewise called a herniated disc, compressed disc, prolapsed disc and bulging disc. A slipped disc could cause numbness and tingling in the legs and arms that depends on where the rupture happens in the spinal column. A severe slipped disc could have an effect on the bladder or bowel functioning and would require emergency medical treatment.
The 33 bones of the vertebrae are stacked upon one another protecting the spine while enabling a better range of motion. The vertebrae provides flexibility to the back, as it has the unique ability to move separately of each other. Discs are donut-shaped shock absorbers situated between the vertebrae. A disc's hard outer casing is filled with a spongy filling which absorbs pressure from jarring movements. The cartilaginous casing of the disc can become damaged when there is too much pressure from the vertebrae below and above it. This causes the disc's gel-like filling to leak into the surrounding body cavities and press on spinal nerves. The result can be loss of feeling, loss of functioning and pain somewhere else in the body.
Discs may become injured as a result of fall traumas or car accidents. Situations such as scoliosis or extreme obesity can place too much pressure upon the discs than they could handle. The discs could get smaller and become fragile throughout a normal process of aging known as degenerative disc disease. This makes them more susceptible to injury.
To help identify a ruptured disc or a slipped disc, either an MRI or a CT scan is utilized. X-rays are unable to see the soft tissues of the disc making them less effective. However, X-rays will reveal spaces between the vertebrae and could help a medical doctor decide if more testing is required. MRI and CT scans are more precise since they reveal the soft tissues and could help a medical doctor see not only the precise location of the slipped disc but likewise the soft material which has leaked from the disc.
Treatments on slipped discs focus on reducing pressure on the injured disc. This could be accomplished in various techniques, with treatment methods varying depending upon the causes and severity of the case. Various slipped discs may improve through physical therapy, massage and anti-inflammatory medications. If obesity is the cause of the slipped disc, diet and exercise will be suggested. If scoliosis is the cause, the problem can require a back brace. In life-threatening and serious conditions, a surgeon could remove the ruptured disc material and stabilize the vertebrae all-around the damaged disc. Surgery could be an alternative if more non-invasive ways have failed to alleviate the pain. A physician could suggest the best treatment plan for each and every individual situation.