One of the most common forms of back pain, a slipped disk will affect as many as 60 to 80 percent of people during their lifetime, according to doctors. Technically also known as a herniated disk, this condition can be painful and normally affects the lower back, causing pain in the legs.
Experts explain that your spine is made up of a series of complex bones known as vertebrae. Each bone is cushioned by disks that protect the bones from shock and daily wear and tear from walking, lifting, and twisting around.
Doctors explain that many times a slippery disk happens with age as the outer ring of the disk becomes worn, torn, and weak, and the soft inner part of the disc slips out. A disc herniation can be caused by certain movements such as twisting, turning, or lifting heavy objects. Individuals who are overweight are also at greater risk of the slipped disk because their disks have to bear more weight than they can often handle. Weak muscles from small movements or exercise can also increase the risk for a herniated disk.
While there are some common signs and symptoms to look out for, sometimes people show no symptoms and have no idea they have a disk problem. Most disk herniations occur in the lower back, but some occur in the neck, and herniated disks can be painful for some people when a distorted disk irritates nearby nerves. But the most common symptoms include:
Pain in arms and/or legs. Because many herniated disks occur in the lower back, people can feel pain in the thighs, calves, feet, or glutes.
Pain in shoulders and / or arms. If you have a herniated disks in your neck, you may have pain in your shoulder or arm.
Numbness or tingling. Sometimes people feel numbing or tingling in the part of the body supplied by the nerves affected by the herniated disk.
Weakness. You may feel a weakness that causes you to stumble or you may have difficulty lifting or holding things in your arms.
If you recognize any of these signs of a slipped disk, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms.
According to doctors expert in this disease, a herniated disk can often be treated with pain management. This may include over-the-counter medications, cortisone injections, or even muscle relaxants or narcotics prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may also suggest physical therapy to help manage pain, such as heat and ice treatment, electrical stimulation, or short-term brace.