A slipped disc, or bulging or herniated disc, is a condition where the discs that cushion the spinal column bulge out from between the vertebrae, and compress the nerves that exit the spinal column. The most common symptom is pain or numbness, usually in the lower back and radiating down one or both legs. Slipped discs are most common in the lower back because the lumbar spine is very mobile and supports the weight of the upper body.
What causes a Slipped disc?
It is not clear why some people develop a slipped/prolapsed disc and not others, even when they do the same job or lift the same sort of objects. It seems that some people may have a weakness in the outer part of the affected disc. Various things may trigger the inner softer part of the disc to prolapse out through the weakened outer part of the disc. For example, sneezing, awkward bending, or heavy lifting in an awkward position may cause some extra pressure on the disc. In people with a weakness in a disc, this may be sufficient to cause a prolapse. Factors that may increase the risk of developing a prolapsed disc include: a job involving lots of lifting, a job involving lots of sitting (especially driving), weight-bearing sports (weight lifting, etc), smoking, obesity, and increasing age (a disc is more likely to develop a weakness with increasing age).
What are the symptoms of a prolapsed disc?
The pain is often severe, and usually comes on suddenly. The pain is usually eased by lying down flat, and is often made worse if you move your back, cough, or sneeze.
Nerve root pain (usually sciatica)
Nerve root pain is pain that occurs because a nerve coming from the spinal cord is pressed on (trapped) by a prolapsed disc, or is irritated by the inflammation caused by the prolapsed disc. Although the problem is in the back, you feel pain along the course of the nerve in addition to back pain. Therefore, you may feel pain down a leg to the calf or foot. Nerve root pain can range from mild to severe, but it is often worse than the back pain. With a prolapsed disc, the sciatic nerve is the most commonly affected nerve. (The term sciatica means nerve root pain of the sciatic nerve.) The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that is made up from several smaller nerves that come out from the spinal cord in the lower back. It travels deep inside the buttock and down the back of the leg. There is a sciatic nerve for each leg.
Other nerve root symptoms
The irritation or pressure on the nerve next to the spine may also cause pins and needles, numbness or weakness in part of a buttock, leg or foot. The exact site and type of symptoms depend on which nerve is affected.
to prevent, learn to practice a few yogic asanas daily to preserve strength and flexibility of the spinal muscles, discs and ligaments.
Yoga practices such as asanas, relaxation and meditation techniques are an effective and a simple solution to this painful and difficult problem.Treatment will likely include application of hot or cold packs, limited activity (although strict bed rest is not generally advised). As your condition improves, specific back relaxing, stretching or strengthening asanas/exercises may be suggested.
Asanas will also help to strengthen any muscles that have become weak. Avoid any activities that could aggravate your condition such as those that involve; reaching, lifting, sitting for a prolonged period of time.
There are many who have recovered easily in short time and leading a normal life through the practice of yoga with us.