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Slipped Disc



The discs allow slight movement of the vertebrae, and hold the vertebrae together.


The discs protect the bones of the spine; acting like shock-absorbing pads between the bones. Commonly the disc may split or rupture and the gel-like substance inside escapes in to the surrounding tissues. This leaking substance places pressure on the spinal cord or on a nerve fibres and cause pain either around the damaged disc or in the surrounding area controlled by that nerve – this is commonly known as a slipped disc. Nerves provide sensation, power and pain to all parts of the body.


Generally, more than 20% of the population has a slipped disc without experiencing any crucial pain or symptoms.


Usually, the most affected area is the lower back but actually any disc can rupture including those in the neck. This is generally caused by degeneration due to advanced age and causes weakness and pain. Even hard physical labour can also increase the chances of a slipped disc. Trauma or injury from a fall, or accident can also cause a slipped disc.


A slipped disc in the lower back caused by degeneration is generally seen between the ages of 30 to 50 and slipped disc in the cervical vertebrae around the neck is seen between the ages of 40 and 60.


A slipped disc can be symptom free and the pain is caused by the pressure on the nerve roots, the spinal cord on the cauda equina.

Common symptoms caused by nerve root pressure:

Pain generally radiates to the arms, legs or buttocks and tingling feeling in the limbs.

Common symptoms caused by pressure on the spinal cord:

Muscle spasms, paralysis in the lower part of the body below the spinal cord pressure for example pressure on the spinal cord in the chest area will cause spasms in the lower limbs but not in the upper limbs.

Common symptoms caused by pressure on the cauda equina:

Paralysis of both legs, loss of bladder control and disturbance of feeling in the rectum area or in the inside of the thighs. This requires urgent medical attention.


A slipped disc can be treated conservatively, by means of medication, physiotherapy, steroid injections, or a combination of these measures. Surgery should be considered only as a last resort or in cases of caudal equina.


Intervertebral discs lie inbetween the bones (vertebrae) of the spine.  


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I would like to thank Mr Akmal and his team for taking excellent care of me. I was very worried and upset about my injury

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