Disc Prolapsed

Disc prolapse which is also known as herniated disc is very common in adult and middle aged adults these days. It is the condition when the outer fibres of the intervertebral disc are injured and the soft material which is known as pulposus ruptures out from its enclosed space. It could develop suddenly or over the period of weeks or months.

The problem of disc prolapse occurs mostly in back spine (lumbar spine), cervical spine and in rarely occurs in thoracic spine (mid-back region).

Causes of disc prolapse

Intervertebral disc can rupture or prolapse owing to excessive pressure, for instance if you fall from a fair amount of height and land directly on your buttock. It can exert significant pressure across the spine that may lead to either vertebra (bone) can fracture or an intervertebral disc can prolapsed.

In other circumstances, if you bend and try to lift any object which is very heavy, the force that you put may lead the reason for the disc to rupture or prolapse. The discs also find the reason to rupture when the outer fibres of the discs become weaker. Moreover, the injury may come with aging, hereditary factor, work or recreation activities.

Symptoms

Following are the symptoms that signify the characteristics of disc prolapse:

  • There is pain behind the shoulder blades or in the buttocks
  • There will be numbness or tingling in one or both arms and legs
  • Pain running down in one or both arms or legs
  • In some severe cases there could be numbness in the genital area, impotence in men or loss of control of bladder and/or bowels.

Diagnosis

Proper diagnosis is crucial part of treatment that helps the doctor to find out the root cause of disc prolapse. The specialist takes complete history of the problem, injury and physical examination. They try to find out where exactly the pain occurs? Is there any injury before the pain started? Is there any weakness? Is there any numbness or pins and needles? And so on.

Treatment

Most of the disc prolapse problem settles down itself and the process of healing may take between 6-8 weeks or sometime more than that.

An acute disc prolapse is treated traditionally in the first instance. Usually medications such as anti-inflammatory and paracetamol-based drugs are recommended.

If there is an evidence of significant spinal cord or nerve root compression or impaired function and the symptoms does seem to settle with conservative treatment other intervention may be included such as a nerve sheath injection with local anesthetic or surgery based treatment. In the treatment of disc prolapse surgery has shown speedy recovery. Proper rest is recommended for better recovery after the treatment.