Can slip disc be ever cured?

Slipped, damaged, or misaligned discs do sometimes produce fewer distracting symptoms over time. But does this mean slipped discs can be cured? This does sometimes seem to happen. Still, enjoying a welcome break from disc pain doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the treatments offered by a trusted chiropractor. Let’s take a moment to learn more about slipped discs and the possibility of “curing” them.

What is a ‘Slipped’ Disc?

Slipped disc is a term commonly used for a herniated or prolapsed spinal disc. A disc “herniates” when softer inner disc material pushes through the disc’s tougher outside shell. This may happen if you twist or turn your back awkwardly, lift heavy or awkward items improperly, or have poor posture. Excess weight and age are contributing factors as well.

Distracting symptoms may develop if the protruding material irritates a nearby nerve. If a spinal disc in the lower back is affected, the sciatic nerve may become compressed or irritated. The resulting discomfort, referred to as sciatica, typically includes numbness, tingling sensations, and pain that goes down one leg.

Why Might a Slipped Disc Get Better On Its Own?

Some slipped discs do get better on their own, or become asymptomatic. In some cases, the damage to the disc is so minor that the affected disc naturally moves to a position that takes pressure off a nearby nerve root. A herniated or slipped disc may also seem to be “cured” due to the following contributing factors:

• An immune system response: The body sometimes considers protruding disc material to be a new threat. If this happens, the attack mounted by the immune system could reduce the size of disc material enough to produce relief. This process also removes nerve-irritating inflammatory proteins.

• Water absorption: The herniated part of a damaged disc contains water. Over time, the body absorbs this water, which may cause the protruding disc material to shrink enough so it no longer contributes to painful or disruptive symptoms.

• Normal disc mechanics: Certain exercises or spinal manipulations sometimes move protruding disc material inward enough so that symptoms no longer impact daily life.

How Can You Tell If You Have a Slipped Disc?

It’s important to know the answer to this question since it will determine how well you are able to manage any symptoms you may have. In reality, you can’t know for sure you have a slipped or herniated disc until you been been properly diagnosed. This is something we can do for you. As for signs suggesting you may have a slipped disc, one of the telltale ones is discomfort affected by movement. You may also notice:

• Pain within the affected area
• Numbness, tingling sensations, or general weakness that extends to nearby areas that might include arms, shoulders, hips, thighs, or legs
• Difficulty walking short distances
• Pain that worsens when you sit or stand
• Burning sensations in the affected or nearby areas

What Can Help Get Herniated Disc Pain Under Control?

Whether or not a slipped disc can become less painful primarily depends on how well you respond to treatment recommendations. During your initial evaluation, you may be asked about your regular habits, what you do for a living, and various lifestyle factors so treatment suggestions can be better tailored to your unique needs. You may ultimately experience relief when you have a slipped disc if you respond well to treatments that often involve:

• Medication
• Therapeutic exercises
• Soft tissue manipulation
• Lifestyle adjustments, especially ones related to diet and exercise habits

Surgery is sometimes necessary. However, it’s usually a last resort option only considered if other treatment efforts aren’t effective.

Does It Really Matter If a Slipped Disc Is Cured?

Many people have slipped or damaged spinal discs without even knowing it. In fact, there have been many instances of image tests showing disc-related damage when testing was done for an entirely different reason. It’s also fine to consider a slipped disc “cured” if your symptoms are non-existent, manageable, or not affecting your daily life. The bottom line is that a slipped disc typically cannot be “cured” in the sense that it will magically go back to the way it was before any damage occurred. Fortunately, there are many ways disc-related discomfort can be managed, many of which do not involve surgery.

We’re Here to Help Back Pain Sufferers in the Birmingham, AL, Area

If you have pain from a slipped disc that’s not going away or getting worse, we’re here to help with personalized care. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 205-637-1363.

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