Slipped Disc

Introduction to Slipped Discs and Sciatica

Lower Back Pain

Slipped discs - also known as "herniated discs - are common causes of back pain in adults. Your spine is made up of many different discs, designed to cushion the bone as you move. The term "Slipped Disc" is misleading, because the discs themselves do not actually "slip." Rather, pressure on the disc causes the inner portion of the disc to tear through the outer portion, causing pressure on your nerve endings.

What Causes Slipped Discs?

  • Heavy Lifting

  • Long Term Sitting/Standing

  • Genetics

  • Aging

Lifting with your back instead of your legs is one of the most common causes. The increased pressure on the discs can easily cause them to rupture. Aging can also make someone more likely to get a slipped disc because age tends to make the bones in the spine weaker. Also, any long term lack of movement - such as standing or sitting for an extended period of time - can contribute to slipped discs, especially if you are genetically prone to the condition.

Slipped Discs and Sciatica

Slipped discs can occur anywhere in your spine or neck. The pain caused by these discs comes from pressure on the nerves. In some cases the pressure is caused by the protrusion itself, while in others it is caused by fluids that leak into spinal cavities.

On occasion, this pressure can hit the sciatic nerves, leading to sciatica. While all slipped discs tend to be painful especially when they occur in the lower back, sciatica symptoms can make the pain worse, and may create other general sciatica symptoms, including:

  • Weakness

  • Numbness

  • Tingling

Sometimes the pain will radiate down to your legs. You may also have problems moving your legs, and in rare cases it can cause incontinence. Not all slipped discs lead to sciatica, but those that do often find more radiating pain and additional symptoms than those that simply experience general pain.

Prevention Methods For Slipped Disc Sciatica

  • Exercise regularly, including the muscles in your back.

  • Lift with your legs and never lift more than you can handle.

  • Stand up and walk around if you sit in one place all day.

  • Maintain your body's ideal weight to reduce back pressure.

  • Sit or stand with proper posture.

  • Quit smoking, as this can lead to an increased risk of bone degeneration.

Good exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and proper sitting and lifting techniques are the best way to reduce your likelihood of slipped disc sciatica.

 

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