Split disc & back pain

Written by charlina stewart | 13/05/2017
Split disc & back pain
A split disc can cause back pain (Young woman"s back image by Fenia from Fotolia.com)

According to St. Vincent Hospital and Health Services, about 80 per cent of people will have back pain at some point in their lives. While there are a number of reasons for this type of pain, a split disc, more commonly referred to as a herniated disc, tops the list as one of the most common causes.


As people age, the discs in the spine start to lose fluid and become brittle. When this--coupled with everyday wear and tear--places pressure on the spine, fragile discs can split and cause back pain.


A doctor can determine if a split disc is the cause of back pain by evaluating a patient's medical history, doing a physical examination and doing X-rays. If the physician deems it necessary, he will also do a computerised axial tomography (CAT) scan, perform a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or inject contrast dye into the spinal column.


Symptoms of back pain from a split disc include tingling, weakness and pain in the lower back, legs, buttocks or feet.


Treatments for back pain caused by a split disc include exercise, over-the-counter pain relievers, oral anti-inflammatory medications, chiropractic care, heat, ice, cortisone shots and spinal cord stimulation. In rare instances, surgery may be necessary.


To prevent back pain from a split disc, exercise and stretch regularly to strengthen trunk muscles and maintain pliability in the spine; practice proper posture to prevent uneven pressure on the spine. When picking up heavy objects, adhere to proper lifting techniques to prevent back strain.


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