Slipped Disc – the Common Term for a Widespread Spinal Condition

A slipped disc is a common, and somewhat misleading term for a herniated disc, a condition that occurs when the central core of a spinal disc ruptures. The rupture allows fluid from within the disc to leak into the spinal canal where it can interfere with the functioning of nerves. A slipped, or herniated disc is the last stage in a degenerative disc disease process that begins with a bulging disc. It progresses to become a protruding disc as the disc wall becomes more distended, culminating with the rupturing of the disc wall. The “slipped disc” has not shifted position. Symptoms of a slipped disc vary based on the location of the disc in the spine and the extent of the rupturing. If the condition does not put pressure on a nerve, it may be unnoticeable. If the disc is in the neck (a slipped cervical disc), pain or numbness in the shoulders, arms or chest may result. A slipped disc in the lower back (a slipped lumbar disc) may cause sciatica, creating pain anywhere from the buttocks to the feet.

Dealing with a Slipped Disc

The main causes of slipped disc are spinal degeneration from the natural aging process, or from injury such as improper lifting of heavy objects or poor body mechanics that put unnatural stress on the spinal column. It rarely results from sudden trauma such as an automobile accident. Smoking and excess body weight also increases the risk of developing a slipped disc. Treatments for slipped disc include slipped disc exercises and physical therapy, medication to relieve pain and pressure on spinal nerves, and in some cases surgery for slipped disc. In recent years minimally invasive spinal surgery, such as endoscopic procedures and spinal laser surgery have become effective and safe alternatives for treating slipped disc and other spinal conditions. The board certified physicians at New Jersey Spine Specialists treat patients from Nutley, Glen Ridge, Morristown, and throughout the region using a full range of advanced treatment protocols. With a staff of nationally recognized orthopedic surgeons, patients from across the country seeking the finest in spinal care travel to our offices in Summit and Montclair. Find out what our state-of-the-art spinal care can do for you. Call or email us today to schedule a consultation with one of our spinal care experts near you.

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