Slipped Disc

Your vertebrae houses and protects your delicate spinal cord, spinal nerves and a network of blood vessels. Each vertebrae is cushioned by a fibrous disc with a gel centre. 

Pressure exerted on the spine can cause the gel to push through the outer layers of the disc; this is known as a slipped disc, disc herniation or prolapse. 

If the disc material presses against a nerve, it can result in the pain, weakness and altered sensation typically associated with a slipped disc. However, symptoms can vary widely from case to case. Our bodyworkers can help reduce pressure on your spine and support a full recovery.

A slipped disc usually results in radicular or referred pain.

Radicular pain runs from the spine down to the foot or other areas. It is a sharp linear pain that may ‘shoot’ along the path of a compressed nerve.

Referred pain can be felt in several different parts of the body, you might feel it in your legs, bottom or hips. It’s usually duller in nature.

Typically, the pain worsens for a couple of hours in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning. It may increase when sitting for long periods of time, during a bowel movement or when coughing or sneezing.

If the herniated disc material isn’t pressing directly on a nerve, you might just have a general backache, rather than a distinct linear pain.

You may also experience muscle weakness or twitching. Some people also have altered sensation in their lower legs and feet.

A slipped disc can be caused by a one-time injury, or small but repetitive strains.

Poor posture while sitting at a desk can cause the spine to bend habitually around one spot, putting you at risk for a slow disc herniation.

New parents, unaccustomed to carrying heavy loads on a regular basis are more at risk, as are weight-lifters, as weight-bearing actions regularly stress discs.

Having a prior injury can affect your posture and gait, leading to increased stress on the vertebrae and a heightened chance of a slipped disc.

By treating your body as an interconnected mesh, rather than as separate parts, our osteopaths promote integrated and sustained healing. A slipped disc often comes hand in hand with other areas of weakness. By addressing and strengthening these areas, our osteopaths will reduce pressure on your spine and encourage a full recovery.

Stretching and strengthening programmes can help you work towards a more balanced posture, while improving core strength. This improves the function of your spine and reduces risk of relapse.

Other techniques like massage, counterstrain, lymphatic techniques and myofascial release therapy increase blood flow and nutrient supply to your spine, relieving pain and speeding up your recovery.

Our naturopaths support your recovery with potent herbs and supplements to aid sleep and relieve pain. For personalised nutritional advice, you can book an appointment with one of our naturopaths.

What’s next?

If you have a slipped disc, we can help.

Bring your body back into balance with our osteopaths and chiropractors. Connect with us below, and we'll be in touch shortly.

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