Here’s what you and your loved ones ought to know about SLIPPED DISC

Slipped Disc is one of the many conditions Singaporeans suffer from, which may be caused by a sports injury or during the 2-year National Service for Singaporean men. Known by many other names such as Spinal Disc herniation, the slipped disc condition originates from the lower back. It may not be easy to detect a lower back pain as a slipped disc. Therefore, Singapore Pain Solutions aims to provide clear and concise information on slipped disc so that when you suffer from any symptoms related to a slipped disc, you will be crystal clear about it.

Some Myths on Slipped Disc that needs to be debunked

"... CANNOT BE TREATED WITHOUT SURGERY"

If you are someone who suffers from slipped disc and fear surgery, fret not. A slipped disc can easily be corrected without the need for surgery, so long as it is not serious. In most cases, people with a slipped disc recover naturally after a period of time. Non-surgical methods include painkillers and muscle relaxants to speed up recovery process.

"... ARE CAUSED BY INJURY"

This is true for some cases. Other factors such as genetic predisposition and a person’s lifestyle habits (diet or smoking, for instance) can also cause slipped disc. Age could be a factor as well. As you age, your spinal discs could lose elasticity and become more susceptible to wear and tear, eventually causing damage to them.

"... RESULT IN PERMANENT LIMITATION AND DISABILITY"

Individuals who suffer from slipped disc are afraid that they may no longer enjoy the lifestyle they used to have. This could be their favourite sport, spending quality time with their loved ones or even as simple as sitting comfortably on a chair. While slipped disc impedes their daily lives, this is just temporary. With an appropriate set of treatments, they will recover fully from the miserable condition.

Understanding Slipped Disc, Usual Causes & Treatments

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SLIPPED DISC

Slipped Disc can be referred to as a condition in which the disc between vertebrates (called nucleus pulposus) slips out from the inside to the outer part of the spinal disc. When the disc material compresses the nerve resulting in inflammation and swelling, it causes pain and discomfort for one. However, some people do not experience the symptoms and do not require surgery to correct the problem.

SG Pain Solution Young man suffering form severe pain in his lower back

CAUSES

Slipped Disc could be caused by the following factors:

  • Age and Gender: Men between the ages of 20 and 50 are more prone to a slipped disc condition.
  • Poor Lifting Posture: Lifting heavy objects (or weight) using your back muscles instead of your legs, increases the risk of back injuries that can result in a slipped disc
  • Weight: The heavier you are, the more stress is accumulated on your lower back
  • Smoking: Smoking may result in decreased supply of oxygen to the spinal disc and consequently, rapid degeneration.
  • Sports: High-intensity sports such as rugby, hockey, and weight lifting could increase the risk of slipped disc.
  • Driving: A prolonged period of sitting in a moving and vibrating car may damage spinal structure and discs

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

Some complications include:

  • Permanent nerve damage when slipped disc is left untreated and in severe condition
  • Saddle Anesthesia, progressive loss of sensation around the inner thighs, back of the legs and the rectum area.
  • Slipped disc deteriorates and affects your daily functionality

To recover from a slipped disc, it typically takes about 4 weeks or longer when the condition is a little aggravating. Sometimes you may require surgery to ease the pain. Yet it is better to seek medical help when experiencing a slipped disc. If left unattended, the condition may possibly worsen.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

Here are some of the symptoms experienced by people suffering from slipped disc:

  • Numbing, tingling or weakness in the affected area such as the legs and arms
  • Weakened Muscles. This may result in the loss of balance and difficulty in lifting objects from the ground
  • Difficult to control bladder and bowel movement
  • Difficulty in bending and straightening back
  • Sharp and shocking pain in the buttocks, thigh, and calf (Slipped disc in the back)
  • Sharp and dull pain in the shoulder and arm (Slipped disc in the neck)

TREATMENT

Surgery

This option could be recommended if all other treatment methods fail to mitigate the existing symptoms after several weeks. The surgery costs start from a few thousand dollars. Besides the costs, patients may be required to undergo physical rehabilitation treatment to restore strength and flexibility for their legs and back. These costs vary, depending on where you seek treatment.

Non-Surgical Approaches

Avoid doing high-intensity activities that will aggravate your pain such as lifting heavy objects and playing sports. Try to maintain a slow and controlled physical movement when you, for instance, bending forward. One of the more effective treatments for slipped disc is taking physical rest.

Other treatments also include taking some form of medication - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID), epidural steroid injection or muscle relaxants - helps to ease muscle spasms on your back. However, you need to be aware of the possible side effects of the medications. NSAIDs, for instance, increase the risk of bleeding or heart problems when consumed in large amounts or for a long period of time.

At Singapore Pain Solutions, we offer Spinal Decompression Therapy, which aims to help patients with slipped disc conditions. If you are suffering from pain or discomfort for your back, arrange a consultation with us for a professional chiropractor review.

TESTIMONIALS

In this video, Mr Vin, our long-term patient, shared how our chiropractor effectively treated his acute slipped disc condition.

The treatment options for your slipped disc condition?

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At Singapore Pain Solutions, we offer Spinal Decompression Therapy and Chiropractic, which aims to help patients with slipped disc conditions. If you are suffering from pain or discomfort for your back, arrange a consultation with us for a professional chiropractor review.

To find out more about chiropractic, do check out our chiropractic care guide in Singapore.