Slipped disc

A slipped disc might not trigger any symptoms and most cases do not require surgery. The risk factors that leads to a slipped disc include aging with deterioration and diminished elasticity of the discs and supporting structures, excessive strain from physical activities and injury for incorrect lifting techniques.

Indications of a slipped disc

The nerves of the body leave the spine at every spinal level in the mid back, low back and the neck. A slipped disc can trigger symptoms throughout the course of that nerve, yet injury and irritation of the nerve are at the spine itself.

It is important to note that a slipped disc can cause fluctuating degrees of pain in the neck or back along with weakness or numbness in the matching legs, arms, organs as follows:

Neck region

Slipped disc
Pain that radiates to the rear part of each leg from the buttocks to the knee or beyond

The neck and other associated symptoms include:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Pain in the shoulder, neck, hand or arm

These symptoms often intensify or reduce during neck movement.

Back region

  • Pain that radiates to the rear part of each leg from the buttocks to the knee or beyond
  • Tingling, numbness, weakness or pain in the back, buttocks, legs or feet
  • Pain during movement, coughing, straining or performing leg raises
  • Numbness and tingling around the genitals or anus
  • Difficulty controlling bladder function or bowel movements

When to seek medical care

The doctor should be consulted for any neck or back pain that is substantial enough to restrain activity, any back pain that persists more than a few days or pain linked with weakness or numbness, loss of bowel or bladder, fever and chest or abdominal pain. The doctor might require immediate assessment or advise to go to the emergency department.

It is also vital to seek medical care if the discomfort or symptoms are significantly intense to prevent walking, linked with serious numbness or weakness of any of the extremities or linked with the loss of bowel or bladder control.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on a slipped disc is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage spinal injuries including a slipped disc by taking a standard first aid course with Victoria First Aid.

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