The term prolapsed disc is generally used very freely. If you think you have “slipped” the disk, you will probably feel so-called nonspecific pain in your back (see article back pain). The more accurate medical expression is the disc prolapse, and this is a specific disorder.
Each flexible intervertebral disc consists of a fibrous outer layer that envelops the gelatinous internal matter. If a degenerative disk change occurs and it becomes less flexible – perhaps due to aging or overload of the back – disc prolapse will occur. In other words, because of the pressure, a part of the soft substance in the inner part is squeezed through a weak point on the outer, hard layer. This loses the cushioning effect of the disc and causes painful pressures of the extruded substance to the nerve. In very difficult cases, the disc may crack.
If a disc on your neck has slipped, you’ll probably wake up in the morning with a painful curved neck that you can correct only with very severe pain. You can feel the weakness in your hands or on fists. Symptoms of a prolapsed disc anywhere underneath the neck can start abruptly or develop gradually. For example, when attempting to lift something, you may suddenly feel a severe pain in your back or in one of your limbs, because sudden striking of the disk of the disk causes sudden pressure on the nerve. You can also have back pain that will increase for weeks and weeks. If a disc in the lower part of the spine prolapsed, you can get sciatica.
Disc prolapses are common; in most cases, they occur in the lower part of the back. Except for the neck, prolapsed discs usually come back, but the greatest risk comes from spinal cord injury. It is believed that 50-60% of all exhalations occurred due to the prolapse of the disc (and some claim even 100%).
What to do?
Contact your doctor if you have a symptom of a prolapsed disc. Urgently ask for help if you experience weakness and numbness, or if you lose control of stool and urination. The doctor will carefully examine your back and legs and refer you to X-ray of spinal cord, and perhaps myelography to detect the exact location of disc prolapse.
Treatment of this discomfort is very diverse. If the prolapse occured on the neck, you will only have to wear a cervical collar for about two weeks. But much depends on the history and experience of your doctor about this disorder (see treatment of back pain article).