When you have a prolapsed disc (commonly called a ‘slipped disc’), a disc does not actually ‘slip’. What happens is that part of the inner softer part of the disc (the nucleus pulposus) bulges out (herniates) through a weakness in the outer part of the disc. A prolapsed disc is sometimes called a herniated disc. The bulging disc may press on nearby structures such as a nerve coming from the spinal cord. Some inflammation also develops around the prolapsed part of the disc.
Any disc in the spine can prolapse. However, most prolapsed discs occur in the lumbar part of the spine (lower back). The size of the prolapse can vary. As a rule, the larger the prolapse, the more severe the symptoms are likely to be.
CAUSE of Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc (Slipped Disc)
- Herniation of intervertebral disc.
- Senile degeneration of disc.
- Sudden jerk.
- Over-straining of lumber spine.
- Lifting weight.
- Violent coughing.Sudden stooping or twisting.
- Trauma to spine.
- Commonly affected discs: L4-L5, L5-S1.
SYMPTOMS of Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc
When a prolapsing disk presses on a nerve root, symptoms occur both in the back and in the area that the nerve root supplies. Symptoms include-
- Severe backache
- Spasms in the muscles of back and legs
- Pain is aggravated by movement or moving and amelioration by lying in a flat position.
- Sneezing or coughing may also cause sudden bulging of disk material, resulting in to sharp pain in the back or legs.
- Disk prolapsed in a lower back may irritate sciatic nerve, results in pain in thigh, calf, ankle, or foot. This pain can shoot down a leg and is then called sciatica pain.
- More severe pressure on the nerve root may cause the nerve to stop functioning altogether. Areas of skin that the nerve supplies will become numb, and light touch or even a pinprick cannot be felt.
- Weakness and paralysis of muscles supplied by the nerve.
- If the nerves to the bladder or genitals are affected, however, their function can be permanently lost.
Diagnosis of Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc
Obtaining a careful patient history is vital because the events that intensify disc pain are diagnostically significant.
The straight leg –raising test – For the straight-leg-raising test, the patient lies in a supine position while the examiner places one hand on the patient’s ilium, to stabilize the pelvis, and the other hand under the ankle, then slowly raises the patient’s leg.The test is positive only if the patient complains of posterior leg pain.
Lasegue test – the patient lies flat while the thigh and knee are flexed to a 90-degree angle. Resistance and pain as well as loss of ankle or knee-jerk reflex indicate spinal root compression.
X-ray spine – It is essential to rule out other abnormalities but may not diagnose intervertebral disk prolapse, because marked disk prolapse can be present despite of a normal X-ray.
After physical examination and X-ray, myelography, CT scan, and MRI provide the most specific diagnostic information.
MANAGEMENT of Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc (Slipped Disc)
• Rest to spine for at least 6-12 weeks.
• Use of hard bed.
• In severe cases- traction is applied to leg or pelvis, provided there is no cord compression.
• Regain mobility gradually.
• Restrict jerky movements.
• Avoid- forward bending, lifting weight.
• Reduce weight if obese.
Homeopathy Treatment & Homeopathic Remedies for Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc (Slipped Disc)
Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution etc. A miasmatic tendency (predisposition/susceptibility) is also often taken into account for the treatment of chronic conditions. The medicines given below indicate the therapeutic affinity but this is not a complete and definite guide to the treatment of this condition. The symptoms listed against each medicine may not be directly related to this disease because in homeopathy general symptoms and constitutional indications are also taken into account for selecting a remedy. To study any of the following remedies in more detail, please visit our Materia Medica section. None of these medicines should be taken without professional advice.
Commonly indicated homeopathy medicines for Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc
- Rhus tox
- Kali carb
- Thuja occidentalis
- Calcarea carb
- China officinalis
- Natrum mur
- Ledum pal
- Calcarea phos
- Cramp-like pain all over the back.
- Shootings pain in the loins and in the back.
- Painful stiffness in the small of the back, compelling him to walk and sit crookedly.
- Shootings under the left shoulder-blade, extending to the heart, greatly aggravated by cough and respiration.
- Bryonia patients are irritable, inclined to be vehement and angry
- Pains: stitching, tearing, worse at night, by motion, inspiration, coughing and better by absolute rest, lying on painful side.
- Excessive dryness of mucous membranes of entire body.
- Pain in the back. Intolerable pain in the back.
- The spine pains on bending backward.
- Painful stiffness in the spine, with dullness and heaviness in the legs, in the morning on waking, and after rising.
- Pain as if wrenched in both sides of the back. Stitches in the back.
- Bruised pain in the back and chest.
- Spasmodic, jerking pain, extending from the left side of the back to the anus. Painful jerks in the right side of the back, on breathing, with chilliness, and cold.
- Pressive pain in the spine, between the shoulder-blades, with short breath and aggravated by breathing, with painfulness in the bones of the spine on touch.
- Stiffness in the back, unable to stoop.
- Stiffness and lameness in the back, and small of the back.
- Rheumatic pains in the back, chest, shoulders and arms, worse on moving them.
- Attack of pain in the back, during rest, after physical effort. Violent backache. Pressure in the spine when swallowing.
- Pain in the back as from a sprain.
- Stitches in the right side of the back, extending through the chest.
- Burning tearing near the right side of the spine.
- Bruised pain in the back, during rest, not during motion.
- Burning in back. Spasms in muscles of back.
- Painful stiffness from loins to hip, as if muscles were too short.
- Insupportable nocturnal pains in back, in loins, hip and knee.
- Pain in the small of back, with constipation, intermittent fever, palpitation of the heart or dyspnoea.
- Pain in the coccyx, when sitting down patient feels as if sitting on something sharp.
- Want of strength in back and knees, which forces patient to stoop when walking.
- Pain, as from dislocation, in loins, as after great exertion.
- Paralyzed sensation in upper sacrum and lower lumbar vertebrae.
- Contusive pain in loins and back (as if back were broken), especially after having been seated a long time, hindering walking, rising up, or making the least movement.
- Pain and burning in small of the back when rising from stooping position.
- Pain in coccyx impeding easy motion, can find no comfortable position, followed by painful stiffness of nape.
- Oversensitiveness of all the senses to external impressions, light, noise, odors, touch.
- Restless, fidgety; moves continually, cannot sit or stand still a moment.
- Burning in spots along the spine, between the scapulae or intense heat running up the back.
- Rheumatic tearing between shoulders, not affected by movement, worse by cold, better by heat.
- Pain in small of back when sitting still or when lying: better when lying on something hard or from exercise.
- Complaints from spraining or straining a single part, muscle or tendon, overlifting, particularly damp ground; too much summer bathing in lake or river.
- Affects the fibrous tissue, especially the right side more than the left.
- Pains: as if sprained; as if a muscle or tendon was torn from its attachment; as if bones were scraped with a knife;
- Worse after midnight and in wet, rainy weather; affected parts sore to touch.
- Lameness, stiffness and pain on first moving after rest, or on getting up in the morning better by walking or continued motion.
- Great restlessness, anxiety, apprehension, cannot remain in bed, must change position often to obtain relief from pain.
- Pressure on inside of right scapula. Pricking itching between shoulders, not better by rubbing. Contusive pains in back and loins, often with oppressed respiration.
- Pain in loins and sacrum as from contusion.
- Pain in loins when walking and when stooping, or only when seated, better by pressure and when lying down.
- Backache better lying on back.
- Pain in lumbar vertebrae as if bruised. Bruised pain in spine.
- Cracking in cervical vertebrae on making certain movements with head.
- Painful drawing in sacrum, coccyx, and thighs, while sitting, after long sitting prevents standing erect.
- Pain, as of a fracture, and stiffness in loins, back, and nape, especially in morning, after rising.
- Ailments from bad effects of vaccination, from suppressed or maltreated gonorrhoea.
- Fixed ideas: as if a strange person were at his side; as if soul and body were separated; as if a living animal were in abdomen; of being under the influence of a superior power.
Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc (Slipped Disc)