Slipped disc- Causes, Symptoms and Home remedies
In today's time almost everyone has the problem of back pain. There are many reasons behind this. One of these reasons is a slipped disc. However, this disease is mostly seen in the elderly but due to the hectic life and unhealthy lifestyle, the problem of slipped disc has become very common today. Working on a computer for long hours, using a cell phone for a long time, standing for a long time, running for long hours, incorrect posture and lifting heavy weights in the wrong way, etc. are some of the common causes of a slipped disc.
What is a Slipped disc?
There are small padded discs in the back to support the bones that are attached to the spine. It works to protect the spine from shocks and keeps it flexible. When this disc swells or breaks due to some reason, this condition is called a slipped disc. In addition, the outer wall of the disc becomes discolored or inflated due to which the fluid present in it starts leaking into the spinal cord.
The human spine consists of 7 cervical spines, 12 thoracic spines and 5 lumbar spines from top to bottom. All these bones are connected by discs. Each disc consists of two parts- soft inner part and hard outer ring. Due to the weakening of the outer ring for some reason, the inner part of the disc gets a signal to exit. This phenomenon is known as slipped disc or herniated disc.
Types of Slipped discs
There are mainly three types of slipped discs, which are as follows-
Cervical disc slip
Cervical disc slip occurs in the neck. This causes pain in the back of the head, neck, shoulder bone and hands.
Lumbar disc slip
This disc slip occurs in the lower part of the spine. This causes pain in the lower back, hip, thigh, anus/genitals and feet or toes.
Thoracic disc slip
This type of slipped disc occurs in the middle of the spine. The main reason for this is the pressure exerted around it. This causes pain in the central part of the back and shoulder area. However, the chances of this happening are very low.
Stages of Slipped disc
There are four stages of a slipped disc, which are as follows-
Dehydration starts from the discs of the body in this phase due to which the outer layer of the disc becomes weak and flexibility decreases. This problem occurs due to aging.
In the second stage, cracks develop in the fibrous layers of the disc due to which the fluid inside it starts leaking or bubbles start forming.
In the third stage of a slipped disc, a portion of the nucleus breaks off but it resides inside the disk.
This stage of slipped disc is very serious. In this phase the fluid inside the disc starts coming out from the hard outer layer. Along with this, the leakage of this fluid starts completely in the spinal cord.
Causes of Slipped disc
There are many reasons behind a slipped disc but some of the main reasons are the following-
Each of the vertebrae present in the spinal cord are connected by discs which tend to weaken over time. In older people, the outer layer of the disc begins to weaken and bulge due to which complaint of slipped disc occurs due to slight injury or blow. If these vertebrae break, then there is pressure on the nervous system of the body. As a result, pain occurs in the back. After some time this pain starts affecting different parts of the body as well.
Pressure on the disc
Some people's daily chores involve difficult and tiring activities which exerts pressure on the disc. This includes activities such as lifting heavy weights, working in a bent position, sitting in the wrong posture, etc. due to which a slipped disc may occur. As a result, pain starts in the lower part of the spine.
Due to injury
Chronic injury in the neck or spinal cord can lead to slipped disc problems in the future.
Lack of calcium and vitamins in the body
The body needs all kinds of nutritious substances because these substances make the body healthy. It also contains calcium and vitamins. Its main function is to strengthen the bones but if a person does not consume calcium and vitamin-rich elements, then in this condition he starts feeling weak and starts to bulge because of which a person may have to face the problem of slipped disc.
Symptoms of Slipped disc
Slipped discs mainly cause pain in the areas around the shoulders and neck. Apart from this, some other symptoms of a slipped disc are as follows-
- Weakness or tingling in the hands and feet.
- Difficulty in walking due to lack of coordination.
- Feeling pain while travelling some distance.
- Pain spreading to arms or legs.
- Sharp pain in a specific part of the body.
- Unbearable pain in the lower back.
- Feeling of pain often while getting up and sitting anywhere.
- Trouble walking or exercising.
- Tingling or burning in the affected area.
- Difficulty urinating and passing stools as problems progress.
- Numbness around the hip or thigh when pressure is applied to the middle of the spinal cord.
Prevention methods of Slipped disc
- Maintain body weight so that the pressure on the lower back of the person is reduced.
- Walk and exercise regularly every day.
- Use correct technique for lifting weights.
- Avoid wearing shoes and sandals with high heels.
- Avoid the use of tobacco and smoking.
- Read a book, sit, watch television and sleep in the correct posture.
- Maintain proper body posture while using the computer and mobile phone.
- Do not stand or sit in the same posture for long hours.
- Keep your neck, shoulders and hips straight while walking or standing.
- While sitting on the chair, make a round pillow or towel. Doing so does not damage the disc.
Tests for Slipped disc
To check for a slipped disc, doctors recommend getting an X-ray done. With the help of X-ray, all types of wear and tear of discs in the body can be detected. If not certain with X-rays, the doctor may order other tests, such as a CT scan, MRI, and myelography (via an injection into the spinal cord canal). This shows the status of the slipped disc.
Slipped disc patients mostly get relief with rest and physiotherapy. For this, the person should take complete rest for at least 2-3 weeks. If the pain does not subside, take pain-relieving medicines as per the doctor's advice. For this, muscle relaxants or sometimes steroids are also given. In this problem, physiotherapy is also done only after the pain subsides
Home remedies for Slipped disc
Heat at least 4 to 5 cloves of garlic in mustard oil. After cooling down a bit, massage the back and waist with this oil. Massaging the spine with the thumb with light hands helps to relieve pain.
Cloves & peppercorns
Make a powder by grinding five cloves and five black peppercorns. Now prepare a mixture by mixing some ginger powder. Now make a decoction from this mixture and drink it twice a day. By doing this, the problem of slipped discs gets relieved.
Cinnamon also proves to be effective in relieving slipped discs. For this, take 2 grams of cinnamon powder mixed with one spoon of honey.
Camphor and asafoetida
If there is a slipped disc, take equal quantities of camphor and asafoetida and make a paste by beating it in mustard oil. Now massage this mixture on the affected parts of the neck or body with light hands. By doing this, the pain gets relieved.
Compressing with warm water provides great relief from any kind of pain. It also improves blood circulation. Apart from this, taking a shower with hot water is also beneficial in back and neck pain.
Ice packs help in many types of pain. Therefore, applying an ice pack on the affected part provides great relief. Along with this, it also eliminates swelling.