Many times, you suffer from lower back pain. One of the reasons behind the pain can be prolapsed disc that presses on the nerve root causing pain in the leg and the back. Although more often, the symptoms wear off after couple of weeks; doctors usually advise continuing daily routine activities as much possible even during the pain. Painkillers are generally prescribed for lowering the pain along with other physical treatments such as spinal manipulation. In case the symptoms persist, surgery may be advised.
What Does Prolapsed Disc Mean?
Although the term prolapsed disc actually conveys the meaning slipping of the disc, the disc actually do not slip. Instead, the nucleus pulposus, an inner softer part within the disc bulges out due to weakness in the outer part of the disc. That is why; the condition is also sometimes referred to as herniated disc. When the bulged part presses on the nearby structures, for example a spinal cord nerve, inflammation develops around the prolapsed part causing the pain.
It can happen with any type of disc in the spine; however, it is more common with the lower back disc or the lumbar spine. The size of the bulge or the prolapsed varies and understandingly the larger the prolapsed much more severe is the pain and other symptoms.
Who is at More Risk of Getting Prolapsed Disc?
Painful back condition is quite common. However, studies indicate that out of 1 in 20 people, the back pain is usually caused due to prolapsed disc. More often, the cases are of simple low back pain caused due to minor problems in ligaments, muscles or the structure of the back such as a strain in muscle. Men are twice more prone to this type of condition, especially in the age between 30 and 50 years.
Causes of Prolapsed Disc
The causes of prolapsed disc are not quite clear. It has been found that even when people do similar types of jobs, some develop this type of condition while few others never complain about any type of back pain. Some doctors suggest that people having weakness in their outer part of the spine are more prone to this condition.
Certain things can trigger off the inner soft part of the disc to bulge outwards through the weakened part of the disc. Some such things include, awkward bending, sneezing or lifting heavy objects in awkward position that can cause extra pressure on the spinal disc. People who are already suffering from disc weakness are more vulnerable to prolapsed disc due to such movements.
Other factors that increase the risk of prolapsed disc include:
- A job that involves lots of lifting
- A job that requires sitting for a long time
- Weightlifting or similar weight-bearing sports
- Increasing age