Slipped disc pain
The location of slipped disc pain is sometimes difficult to describe because it can be felt throughout the body and can vary in levels of intensity. The location of the affected disc usually will determine which part of the body experiences the pain. For example, a slipped disc in the lumbar (lower) spine can cause symptoms in the lower back, buttocks, pelvic region, legs and feet. Conversely, symptoms of a cervical (upper) slipped disc will most often be concentrated in the neck, shoulders, arms and hands. Headaches are also a common discomfort felt by patients who have slipped discs.
Slipped disc pain is different for everyone
The severity of slipped disc pain varies from person to person. Some people have slipped discs with no symptoms at all, while others experience crippling pain, tingling, weakness and numbness in the extremities. The intensity of pain you feel is largely determined by the amount of displaced disc material placing pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord. Typically, the more pressure on the nerve tissues, the more severe the symptoms.
The lifestyle you lead can also determine the severity of your slipped disc pain. Certain activities, such as those that require sudden twisting movements, can place added stress on your ruptured disc. Practicing good body mechanics and proper lifting techniques, as well as maintaining a healthy body weight, are a few ways to minimize the severity of your slipped disc symptoms.
Treatment options for slipped disc pain
There are also a number of conservative treatments used to manage slipped disc pain. Often, simply getting regular periods of rest can be enough to keep symptoms at bay. Other treatments like hot and cold therapy, massage and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications also can provide relief. Patients with more severe symptoms may find relief from physical therapy, prescription medications and steroid injections.
In situations where pain is unresponsive to conservative slipped disc treatments, patients may choose to undergo spine surgery. Many people have concerns about traditional open back surgery because of the lengthy recovery time and muscle disruption that can accompany it. However, advances in medical technology and surgical technique have enabled slipped disc symptoms to be effectively treated in an outpatient setting with minimally invasive spine surgery. Laser Spine Institute performs these minimally invasive procedures with lower risk of complication and shorter recovery times, providing a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery.^