If you had to list the most important parts of the human body, your spine would probably make it into the top three. After all, it helps us stand upright, walk around, and acts as the central information center, a speedway of communication between the brain and the body. So it’s no surprise that when anything goes wrong in the spinal region it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Disc prolapse is a prime example of a small issue becoming a major inconvenience and bringing about a world of pain. But what is disc prolapse? Let’s find out more about its causes and symptoms, and how it can be treated at the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore.
What is a disc prolapse?
Your spine is composed of vertebrae, stacked atop each other. Between each vertebra is a rubber-like tissue that acts like a cushion and adds flexibility to the spine. Together the vertebrae and the discs protect the nerves in your spinal cord. Each disc has a soft, jellylike nucleus within the rubbery exterior. Disc prolapse, also known as a herniated disc or a slipped disk, occurs when some of the nuclei leak through a rupture in the exterior tissue and irritates the spinal nerve or spinal canal. It can be an acute condition — occurring suddenly and without warning — or a chronic one that develops over time.
What causes disc prolapse?
Disc prolapse is usually a chronic disease caused by gradual wear and tear of the area, known as disc degeneration. The chances of a disc prolapse increase with age and even based on weight, as these factors can increase the stress placed on the discs. Once disc degeneration is in play, all it takes is a strenuous activity, prolonged stress, or hard impact for the disc to prolapse. Examples of this include:
- Heavy lifting
- Sitting for long periods
- A fall or blow to the back
- Repetitive accumulated minor injuries
- Twisting or sitting in awkward positions
Symptoms of disc prolapse
So how can you tell if you have a prolapsed disk? The symptoms depend on the nerve that’s been impacted by the leaking nucleus, but here are some of the most common ones.
- Sharp, burning pain in the buttocks, thighs, calf, or foot (indicative of a prolapsed disc in the lower back)
- Sharp burning pain in the shoulder or arm, which shoots up the arm with sudden movements such as coughing (indicative of a prolapsed disk in the neck)
- Radiating numbness and tingling sensations in the affected areas of the body
- Muscle weakness in the arms and legs
- Issues with balance
If you’re experiencing neck or back pain that travels down your back, accompanied by numbness and tingling, you should seek the help of a medical professional as soon as possible.
Disc Prolapse Treatment
Once you’ve been diagnosed with a prolapsed disc, there are several treatment options available to you. However, the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore will provide you the following combination:
- Medication — a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medication that may include anti-inflammatory medications, pain-killers, and muscle relaxants. If the symptoms persist, some cases may require cortisone injections around the spine
- Physical therapy — will help you minimize the pain of the prolapsed disk with specially designed exercises and activities. This may involve spending time in a rehabilitation clinic, but several exercises can be done from the comfort of your home as well
- Lifestyle changes — a doctor may suggest certain changes to the way you do daily activities to reduce stress on the affected area. This can help reduce symptoms in a matter of days or weeks
In some extreme cases, surgery may be required to correct the issue, but it’s rarely necessary. For most patients, medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes are enough to relieve the pain.
The human back is one of the most delicate parts of our body and houses some of our most important nerves. Even the smallest disruption to the area can cause serious issues. Luckily, disc prolapse is one issue that can be easily treated. Once patients learn to mitigate the pain, they can continue with their lives, but with a little bit more care than before. If you or a loved one is living with disc prolapse, look for the best rehabilitation in Bangalore, and start your journey towards a pain-free life.