Back pain is a common ailment that affects millions of people worldwide. One of the underlying causes of back pain is a slipped disc, also known as a herniated disc. This condition can be debilitating and severely impact a person’s quality of life. In this blog, we will delve into the symptoms, causes, traditional treatment methods, and explore the potential benefits of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy for managing slipped discs.
Understanding Slipped disc
A herniated disc or slipped disc occurs when one of the soft cushions (discs) between the bones of the spine slips or ruptures. These discs have a jelly-like center surrounded by a tougher outer layer. When the center pushes out through a tear in the outer layer, it leads to a herniated disc, also known as a slipped disc or ruptured disc.
While a herniated disc can happen in any part of the spine, it commonly occurs in the lower back. Depending on the location of the herniated disc, it can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the leg or arm.
It’s important to note that many individuals with a herniated disc may not experience any symptoms. For those who do have symptoms, they often improve over time. In most cases, surgery is not necessary to alleviate the problem.
Please keep in mind that this information is provided for educational purposes only, and it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.
Symptoms of Slipped disc
Most herniated discs occur in the lower back, but they can also occur in the neck. Signs and symptoms depend on where the disc is situated and whether the disc is pressing on a nerve. Herniated discs usually affect one side of the body.
The primary symptom of a slipped disc is sharp, shooting pain that radiates along the affected nerve pathway. The pain can vary from mild to severe and may worsen with movement or certain positions.
Numbness and tingling
Depending on the location of the slipped disc, you may experience numbness or tingling in the corresponding areas, such as the legs or arms.
A slipped disc can lead to muscle weakness, causing difficulty in performing certain activities, such as lifting objects or walking.
Loss of bladder or bowel control
In rare cases, a slipped disc may compress the nerves responsible for controlling bladder or bowel functions, resulting in incontinence. If you experience this symptom, seek medical attention immediately.
Arm or leg pain
If a herniated disc is located in the lower back, it commonly causes pain not only in the lower back itself but also in the buttocks, thigh, calf, and sometimes even in a portion of the foot.
Causes of Slipped Disc
As we age, the discs in our spine lose water content, making them less flexible and more prone to injury.
Certain occupations or activities that involve repetitive movements or heavy lifting can increase the risk of a slipped disc.
Accidents, falls, or sudden twisting motions can cause the disc to slip out of place.
Poor posture: Maintaining poor posture over a prolonged period can strain the spinal discs, making them more susceptible to herniation.
Other Causes of Slipped Disc
- Slipped discs occur when the outer ring weakens or tears, allowing the inner portion to slip out. This can happen due to age-related changes or certain motions.
- Actions like twisting or turning while lifting an object can cause a disc to slip out of place.
- Lifting heavy objects, especially in the case of very large and heavy objects, can strain the lower back and lead to a slipped disc.
- Individuals with physically demanding jobs that involve frequent lifting are at an increased risk of slipped discs.
- Being overweight puts extra pressure on the discs, increasing the risk of a slipped disc.
- Weak muscles and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to the development of a slipped disc.
- Slipped discs become more common as you age due to the loss of water content in the discs, making them more prone to slipping.
- Slipped discs are more prevalent in men than women.
Diagnosis of Slipped Disc
Your healthcare provider will begin by conducting a thorough physical examination to identify the underlying cause of your pain and discomfort. During this examination, they will assess your nerve function, muscle strength, and sensitivity to pain when moving or touching the affected area. Additionally, your doctor will inquire about your medical history and symptoms, paying close attention to when you first noticed the symptoms and which activities exacerbate your pain.
To obtain a clearer picture of your condition, your doctor may recommend various imaging tests that allow them to visualize the bones and muscles in your spine and identify any areas of damage. These imaging scans can include X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and discograms.
By integrating the findings from the physical examination and the results of the imaging tests, your doctor can establish a comprehensive understanding of the factors contributing to your pain, weakness, or discomfort.
Traditional Treatment of Slipped Disc
Rest and activity modification
Initial treatment for a slipped disc often involves rest and avoiding activities that exacerbate pain.
Specific exercises and stretches can help alleviate pain, strengthen the surrounding muscles, and improve flexibility.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or analgesics may be prescribed to manage pain and reduce inflammation.
TENS Therapy – A Safest and Most Effective Way to Treat
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy is a non-invasive treatment that involves using a small, battery-operated device to deliver low-voltage electrical currents to the affected area. TENS therapy has gained popularity as an adjunctive treatment for managing pain associated with slipped discs. It works by stimulating the nerves, which may help in blocking pain signals and promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
TENS Machines by UltraCare Pro
UltraCare Pro has a collection of cutting-edge pain management devices that treat daily aches, acute injuries, chronic pain conditions, muscle discomfort, lifestyle diseases, and body stress in the legs, arms, neck, and back. Let us now discuss our two main products.
The TENS 1.0 from UltraCare PRO is a rechargeable TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) therapy dual channel digital TENS unit/TENS device/TENS machine physiotherapy pulse massager for nerve stimulation and full body pain relief. The TENS 1.0 machine is a portable, battery-powered device that is connected to the skin via wires.
Small electrical pulses are transmitted to the body, like little electric impulses. TENS is used for instant pain relief. It is used as an alternative to pain killing medication.
Introducing UltrcareCare Pro’s TENS 2.0: a smart, wireless, and ultra-compact pain management device for joint and muscular pain. Whether you’re an office worker with lower back pain, an athlete with sore muscles, or an elderly individual experiencing joint pain, TENS 2.0 is your instant pain reliever. Easy to use for people of all ages, it’s the perfect self-care gift for post-surgery recovery or post-workout relief. Get back to your best with TENS 2.0.
TENS machines offer a promising solution for the treatment of slipped discs. The TENS 1.0 and TENS 2.0 devices provide effective pain management by delivering electrical impulses that stimulate nerves and provide instant relief. With their portable and user-friendly design, these devices can be conveniently used to target and alleviate discomfort associated with slipped discs, promoting recovery and enhancing overall well-being. Choose UltraCare Pro for advanced and efficient pain relief.