A spinal disc herniation, incorrectly called a “slipped disc”, is a medical condition affecting the spine, in which a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central portion to bulge out.
It is normally a further development of a previously existing disc protrusion, a condition in which the outermost layers of the annulus fibrosus are still intact, but can bulge when the disc is under pressure.
Some of the terms commonly used to describe the condition include herniated disc, prolapsed disc, ruptured disc, and the misleading expression “slipped disc.”
The popular term “slipped disc” is quite misleading, as an intervertebral disc, being tightly sandwiched between two vertebrae to which the disc is attached, cannot actually “slip,” “slide,” or even get “out of place.” The disc is actually grown together with the adjacent vertebrae and can be squeezed, stretched, and twisted, all in small degrees. It can also be torn, ripped, herniated, and degenerated, but it cannot “slip.
Disc herniation can occur in any disc in the spine, but the two most common forms are the cervical disc herniation and the lumbar disc herniation. The latter is the most common, causing lower back pain and often leg pain as well, in which case it is commonly referred to as sciatica.
Symptoms of a herniated disc can vary depending on the location of the herniation and the types of soft tissue that become involved.
They can range from little or no pain if the disc is the only tissue injured to severe and unrelenting neck or lower back pain that will radiate into the regions served by an affected nerve root when it is irritated or impinged by the herniated material. Other symptoms may include sensory changes such as numbness, tingling, muscular weakness, paralysis, paresthesia and affection of reflexes. Unlike a pulsating pain or pain that comes and goes, which can be caused by muscle spasm, pain from a herniated disc is usually continuous.
It is possible to have a herniated disc without any pain or noticeable symptoms, depending on its location. If the extruded nucleus pulposus material doesn’t press on soft tissues or nerves, it may not cause any symptoms.
Tim Wu’s unique therapy can heal the disc herniation within several sessions’ treatment.
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