The vertebrae in the spine are separated by a form of cartilage, known as Discs. These discs contain a cushioning material similar to gel, and act to protect the vertebrae from the impact of daily activities such as walking, running, sitting and lifting. The disc material can be damaged by sudden trauma or worn down over time through poor biomechanics, incorrect posture, or sitting for long periods. The damage caused means the discs can’t give the vertebrae the right level of protection. This then puts pressure on the rest of the spine, or in some cases on a specific nerve. This damage is known as Slipped discs, disc herniations or disc bulges.
Symptoms of a Slipped Disc
When a disc tears under pressure, this can create a bulge, which then puts pressure on the nerves outside of the disc. If the nerve roots affected travel down the arms or legs, patients can experience symptoms. If you have a slipped disc, you might feel:
- Sciatic pain - pain that can be mild or severe, stretching between the lower back and legs.
- Back pain
- Pain, weakness, tingling or numbness in other areas of the body
Treatments for a Slipped Disc
During our consultation process, we’ll decide which of our therapies would be best for you. Generally for a slipped disc, a combination of shockwave therapy and spinal decompression treatments are most beneficial.
- Shockwave therapy helps break down scar tissue in the affected area, mainly to improve movement. The increased movement is able to pump nutrients through the disc, which in turn helps rehydrate the disc that created the bulge
- Spinal decompression can be used on either the neck or lower back, and uses a small amount of your body weight to apply a gentle traction force to the spine. This helps to ease pressure on the spine, allowing it to decompress and let nutrients, oxygen and fluids back into the discs within your spine.
- Pumping the nutrients back into the disc is a vital part of treatment, helping revitalise the healing environment within your spine. This allows for improvements to continue even after the treatment has ended.
What is a slipped disc?
In the spine, discs act as a cushion between each vertebrae, protecting the spine from the impact of daily activities. If a disc becomes damaged or dehydrated, it can cause the disc to crack. The crack can create a bulge that can apply pressure to certain nerves. Nerves compression can cause pain, weakness, numbness or tingling in different areas of the body depending on which nerve has been affected.
What causes a slipped disc?
Trauma, incorrect posture, being overweight, sitting or driving for long periods of time in a car or lorry, can speed up the degeneration of your discs. Lack of movement in an area of the spine causes a reduction in the amount of nutrients pumped through the discs; and this can cause them to become dehydrated and vulnerable to cracking.
How can shockwave therapy help a slipped disc?
Shockwave therapy uses a light tapping motion to break down scar tissue in a damaged area of the spine. This can help to improve the movement and flexibility of your spine. Increased movement in the spine helps to effectively pump nutrients back into the discs to rehydrate them.
How can spinal decompression therapy help a slipped disc?
Spinal decompression uses a small amount of your body weight to stretch the spine in a safe and gentle way. This helps to relieve pressure on the nerves, and allow for essential nutrients, oxygen and hydration to re-enter the disc space. This creates a better healing environment so your spine can begin to repair itself.
Is spinal decompression painful?
When the treatment is right for the patient, spinal decompression should not be a painful experience. The treatment is very safe, and most of our current patients find it a relaxing experience. Some patients with severely injured discs may find they feel tender during or after the session but this usually goes away once they’ve had a few treatments.
“My pain levels have reduced and I’m more flexible.”
“My pain disappeared“
“I have more confidence in my overall movement”