Prolapsed Intervertebral DiscAnother name for the term prolapsed intervertebral disc is herniated or ruptured disc. It is a spinal condition that occasionally produces symptoms such as back or neck pain, as well as pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the muscle in the extremities.

Prolapsed intervertebral disc is the abrupt or slowly progressing movement of one intervertebral disc backwards into the spinal channel. This pressure on the nerve roots result in pain, weakness of movement, numbness or heightened sensation in the nerve root area.

Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc Facts

The disc at the back spinal column divides the skeletal structures. Disc does not compose blood vessels or nerves like other elements of the skeletal structure. Instead, discs are made up of water, fat and tissues that connect to the skeletal structure. During all hours of the day, water is leaked from the discs, caused from forces of gravity. For instance, when we sit it is a gravity force in action, which one might think that it takes little effort to sit, however, contrary to the notion, it is adding a lot of weight to the spine and disc.

The disc restores water that has leaked out during the day, but is restored at slower paces. Fat and water is balanced in the disc, yet when it is unbalanced, it causes a person to shrink in height. Fat and water inside discs are thick, yet when a person starts aging, the substances begin to thin. When fat and water begins to thin, it can lead to osteoarthritis. Thinning water and fat of the disk is also the leading cause of back pain, especially at the lower region.

Discs exterior are covered by “Annulus Fibrosis.” Sometimes the connective tissues lead to abnormal thickening, which scars the tissue. Usually injury follows, then infection, and moves to restrained oxygen intake. Surgery is often the result. The inner area of the disk is shielded by “Nucleus Pulposis.” The pulp makes up the hub of the disk, which is polished and soft. The disks make up the primary supporting force that regulates the spinal column, muscles, bones etc.

When the disc is not protecting the spinal structures it is often dehydrated, deformed or pressured. The disc has strength that combines with flexibility to withstand high loads of pressure, yet when that flexibility and strength is interrupted, it can result to herniated disk slips, or other injuries.

Slipped discs prolapsed intervertebral disc are caused by accidents, lifting heavy objects, trauma, strain of the back and neck, disc degeneration, weak ligaments and congenital deformity of the bones.

Lumbrosacral will show apparent symptoms, such as acute lower back pain, which radiates to the buttocks and down to the leg. The person will feel weak, numb, or tingling that stretches to the leg and foot. Ambulation also causes pain.
If cervical disc problems are present, the patient will feel stiffness around the neck. These symptoms will make the patient feel numb, weak, and    he/she will feel tingling around the hands. Pain on the neck often extends to the arms and onto the hands, which cause weakness to the upper region of the body. The weakness often targets the biceps and triceps, which become atrophy. The lumbar is also affected, and the patient will find it difficult to straighten the back.

What happens when a disc is slipped and/or broken the annulus fibrosis reacts by pushing its substance into the hollow spacing between the spinal column. The spinal column is made up of nerves, which travel to various parts of the body, including the brain. These nerves are affected when the disc is slipped.

A thorough physical examination is required in order to diagnose a prolapsed intervertebral disc. It can help to exclude a disturbance of the blood supply or circulation of the legs and enables the doctor to conclude the grade, location of the prolapse and the extent of the neurological involvement. An x-ray helps in diagnosis as it enables the doctor to look at the bone structure of the vertebral column. An MRI is the most definitive scan as it can show how many levels are involved, the size of each prolapsed disc and the extent of the nerve root impingement.

What are the causes?
One of the causes is the weakening or a tearing of the tissue ring due to over straining of the vertebral column. This usually is caused by wear and tear. Other risk factors for prolapsed intervertebral discs are obesity and pregnancy.

Treatment Options Available

Conservative treatments include:

  • Bed-rest,
  • Medication,
  • Injections,
  • Physiotherapy to strengthen the back muscles,
  • Surgery is required when the disc prolapse causes significant neurological impairment such as signs of paralysis.

What’s The Cure For Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc?

Our doctor has to examine the patient, look at X-rays before he can decide what is the most suitable treatment plan for speedy recovery. So make an appointment with us today. The sooner you start seeking consultation with our doctor, the sooner you’re rid of your pain caused by prolapsed intervertebral disc.


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