What is a Slipped Disc?
A Disc is a thick piece of cartilage that sits between the bones of the spine to stop them compressing the nerves that come from the spinal cord. They also act as a shock absorber to make sure there isn’t any rubbing between the bones.
A slipped disc is where the soft squishy inner core pushes from the core of the disc, to its perimeter when pressure is applied to it. It isn’t a million miles away from a custard donut when you squeeze it, as pressure is applied to the donut (the disc) the soft stuff in the middle is pushed out through the hole that was made to the donut to fill it.
This can happen and have no symptoms, however if it touches a nerve, that’s when the problems start.
What are the dangers of a slipped disc?
If you are sat reading this and have had any loss of bladder or bowel function, that is a serious problem known as cauda equina syndrome, and rather than seeking our help you MUST get to a hospital ASAP as you may have some pressure going onto the spinal cord. In the worst case scenario, this could cause paralysis.
If you haven’t suffered from that though, the most likely symptom you have had is pain. It is difficult to shift as your body spasms up to try and protect itself, but the downside of doing this is it causes more pressure to be put through the disc, pushing it even further out.
Left to it’s own devices, or hiding the symptoms with strong medication, will lead tot eh disc losing its height. This then kicks in the bodies natural reaction to losing cartilage….arthritis.
This will become debilitating and you will be unable to move as you should be able to, and we have seen it where people have had the problem so long they have ended up in wheelchairs or using Zimmer frames.
What can you do to try and fix it?
1. Try using an ice pack, rather than a hot bath
Typically, pressure on the nerves is caused by swelling. Going in a hot bath will temporarily get rid of the pain, but it will end up encouraging more swelling, so you’ll end up reaching for a heat pack/hot water bottle. Try using ice.
We recommend using an ice pack every 2 hours, for 20 minutes. Just make sure you wrap a tea towel or something similar around the ice pack first so you don’t get burned.
2. Lie down, rest & get Netflix on
Whilst it may seem counter-intuitive to rest and do nothing, if you are suffering with an acute bout of slipped disc pain, then the best thing you can do is take gravity out of the equation and lie down. Ideally, the only time you should move is to go to the toilet, or to bed. Allowing the muscles to relax will relieve the pressure put through the discs. This will then stop the pain travelling through the nerves.
3. When you’re lying down, do some very slow moving stretches.
If you’re lying on your back, slowly bringing your knees to your chest and slowly ‘pumping’ the knees in towards your chest is the best place t start. Then try and do it one knee at a time. To finish, if you bend your knees, keep your feet on the floor, knees together, slowly rotate them side to side as if they’re a windscreen wiper. Slow and steady truly wins this race.
All of the above movements should be done in repetitions of 30, and can be done every 30 minutes or so.
Whilst all this may improve some of the symptoms, it is very rare that it can actually fix the cause of the problem
That’s exactly why we have a dedicated Slipped Disc assessment where we can find the exact cause of the problem and fix it.
All you have to do is fill out the form below and we will contact you to perform a thorough examination, take sEMG scan, do a computerised postural analysis and formulate a plan of action to get rid of your pain ASAP.