A ‘slipped’ disc is the common name given to a ‘prolapsed’ or ‘herniated’ disc, so all three are in fact the same. But what is a slipped disc, how can you treat and prevent them, and how can MBST help?
A slipped disc is not actually slipped. It is the soft central part of the disc which ‘bulges’ out through a weak section of the firmer outer disc. You can have a disc bulge in the spine with no symptoms, in fact many people will have a number of bulges with no knowledge of their existence. But a bulge can cause inflammation that irritates or puts pressure on a nerve, or it can bulge further into a prolapse and contact a nerve itself, causing painful symptoms. Symptoms, therefore, vary due to the severity of the prolapse, but generally, the larger the prolapse, the more severe the symptoms.
Any disc can prolapse in the spine, most commonly in the lower back or neck. More men than women develop a disc prolapse and generally between the ages of 30-50. Discs can also fracture.
A prolapse usually comes on suddenly, accompanied by severe pain. Various things can trigger the prolapse including, bending or twisting suddenly or awkwardly, lifting and even sneezing – essentially something that puts pressure on the disc. In many cases, symptoms improve with time as the bulge regresses naturally and can disappear completely. But there is a weakness left within the disc and sufferers will often have a reoccurrence.
Symptoms include sharp, intense back pain, generally eased by lying still. If a nerve root has been irritated by inflammation or touched by the bulging disc, then pain will be felt anywhere along that nerve. For example, in a lower back prolapse, symptoms can be felt into the bottom and down the leg, while a prolapse in the neck can result in pain sensations in the shoulder and arm.
The most important advice for disc sufferers is to keep the spine moving. Clearly, if the pain is intense, this will be difficult, but while resting the back is important staying active is key to a swifter recovery. As movement in the spine is so important, seeking treatment from a chiropractor (who will move the specific joints in question) can provide pain relief and aid repair. Strengthening your core muscles to protect the spine will aid recovery and reduce the chance of it happening again.
Pain killers and anti-inflammatories are regularly prescribed and do have their benefits – enabling movement and exercise, as well as undisturbed sleep. But they should not be relied upon or seen as ‘treatment’, they are simply masking the pain not aiding recovery and shouldn’t be seen as a long-term option.
The need for surgery is very rare but is an option in the most severe cases – a surgeon will provide details of the risks and advantages of operative intervention.
MBST is a treatment which gives disc sufferers a long-term solution. It provides pain relief (by way of the anti-inflammatory effects), accelerated healing (from cellular stimulation to promote repair and regeneration) and the prevention of recurrence (due to the improved integrity of the disc).
A non-invasive, pain free therapy with no known side-effects, MBST can significantly reduce the pain caused by disc conditions, back and neck problems, and arthritis. It can slow the progression of a degenerative condition (such as arthritis) and preserve joint health. In conjunction with regular strength and mobility exercises, MBST can have profound results for prolapsed disc sufferers and even result in surgery prevention.
“I’m 40 years old and have had back and disc issues for around 18 years, which can be quite de-habilitating at times. MBST reduced my pain almost immediately and I have now been able to commit to a programme of ongoing management for the issues I have which includes Pilates and core stability. Since starting my MBST treatment I have suffered no reoccurrence of my back issues and it feels much more stable as a result.”