Bones in the spinal cord are cushioned by disks. These disks protect bones by absorbing shocks from daily activities like twisting, lifting and walking. Each disk has a soft, gelatinous inner portion and a tough outer ring. Any injury in the bones in the spinal cord can cause protrusion in inner part of the disk. This protrusion happens through the outer ring. This condition is known as herniated, prolapsed or slipped disk, a condition which Bollywood actress Swara Bhaskar is currently suffering from. She revealed that she has a slipped disk in an Instagram story last night.
Slipped disk can cause pain and discomfort. A person suffering from slipped disk might also experience numbness or pain in case the slipped disk compresses one of the spinal nerves. Severe cases of slipped disk might also require surgical removal or repair of the slipped disk.
In her Instagram post, Swara wrote how the she has been asked for a complete bed rest by the doctor for 10 days. And in case she does not take proper bed rest for 10 days now, there are chances that she might need 8 weeks of bed rest after 2 weeks.
Slipped disk symptoms
Any part of your spine from your neck to your lower back can be affected by slipped disk. Lower back is a common area affected by slipped disk. Slipped disk puts extra pressure on its nerves and surrounding muscles.
Common symptoms of slipped disk include pain and numbness on one side of the body, pain which worsens with certain movements, pain which worsens at night, pain extending to your arms or legs, pain that worsens while standing or sitting, pain which occurs for walking even for short distances and strange or sudden weakness in muscles, tingling, burning or aching sensation in the affected area. Pain caused during slipped disk can vary from person to person. You must visit your doctor in case of slipped disk pain in which you are unable to control tingling or aching in muscles or are unable to control muscles.
Slipped disk causes
When outer ring of disk becomes weak or torn, it allows the inner portion to slip out. Usually, this occurs with ageing.
However, there are certain motions which can also result in slipped disk. Simple twisting or turning to lift an object can cause slipped disk. Lifting large or heavy weight objects can strain your lower back and result in slipped disk. People with a physically demanding job are at higher risks of slipped disk.
People who are overweight are at increased risk of slipped disk because their disks have to support additional weight. Also, people with weak muscles of those living a sedentary lifestyle with very less physical activity are prone to risks of slipped disks.
Risks of slipped disks are highest with ageing. Ageing reduces protective water content in disks which makes them slip with more ease. Also, slipped disks are known to be more common among men than women.
Slipped disk diagnosis
A physical exam is conducted by the doctor for diagnosis of slipped disk. This is done to check the source of pain and discomfort. Functioning of nerves and muscle strength is checked in order to check if the pain is moving or is only in the affected area. You will also be asked for your medical history and first few symptoms. In order to identify or view bones and muscles of spine, imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans and discograms might be suggested. These tests will help in gathering information about the causative factors of pain, discomfort and weakness.
Slipped disk complications
Untreated slipped disk can lead to permanent damage to nerves. Some rare cases can cut off nerve impulses in legs and lower back. This can result in the patient losing bowel or bladder control. Long-term complication of slipped disk can cause saddle anaesthesia – a condition which results in lost sensation in inner thighs, back of legs and the area around your rectum.
How treat slipped disk?
Treatment for slipped disk will totally depend on the level of discomfort you’re experiencing and how far the disk has slipped out of place. Many cases of slipped disks can be treated by following specific exercise programs which includes stretching and back-strengthening exercises.
If slipped disk symptoms don’t improve in 6 weeks, you might require a surgery for removal or protruded portion of disk without removing the entire disk. The surgery is known as microdiskectomy. More severe cases of slipped disk may need replacement with an artificial one. This procedure helps in giving stability to your spinal column.
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