Disc injuries are something that we see on a daily basis here, and they can cause severe pain in the back or neck depending on where they’re located. They can also cause debilitating symptoms to appear in other areas of the body due to the vast number of nerves that run through the spinal canal that slipped discs can press against. Due to the nature of a disc injury and the opportunity for treatment available in the UK, there may be several different solutions offered to you before you perhaps think about consulting with an Osteopath, Chiropractor or Physiotherapist.
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If you visit your GP you’ll probably be offered painkillers as a first step, perhaps followed by physiotherapy, but if the problem is causing you a significant amount of pain you may even be offered surgery to treat the problem. Now there are a whole host of things to consider if you’re thinking about using surgery as a treatment for slipped discs, but we’re here to tell you that it’s not the only option.
The unlikely event that the slipped disc needs surgery?
The main question to ask yourself if you know you’re suffering from a slipped disc, is how has it been caused? If that question hasn’t been answered, it is definitely an avenue worth exploring before taking the plunge into surgical treatment. If the slipped disc has been caused by a one off event, such as a serious fall, or an accident of some kind, and surgery has been recommended – chances are it has probably caused enough damage to warrant the need for surgical intervention. In this case, the decision may be slightly easier for you to make, but the number of people that this actually affects is very slim. In most cases of slipped disc, the patient has had a back condition that has existed for a number of months or years, perhaps unbeknownst to them for the most part besides the odd back or neck ache here or there.
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Quite often there are unidentified causes of slipped discs
Most of the patients that we see have some kind of disc pathology due to the nature of our lifestyles – most people are not aware of their posture, have desk jobs where maintaining good posture all day should be a necessity, spend a number of hours a day perhaps looking down at a mobile phone – these are just a few examples of activities that we participate in during the day that can affect the overall health of the spine and the discs that protect it. In the case of a slipped disc, the cause needs to be established from the outset of treatment, in order to get the results that you want. If surgery has been suggested without a clear cut cause of the slipped disc, chances are it won’t be the end of your back complaints and you may wish to explore non-surgical alternatives as much as possible before undergoing surgery.
Eliminating the problem that is causing the slipped disc is the only way to achieve lasting results and give you a better shot at recovery in the long-term. Going in and surgically removing a disc if you’re not sure of the cause could give you more problems in the long-term because you’re not actually targeting the true cause – just the area that has been affected. There are a number of different alternatives to treating slipped discs that do not require surgery, these are substantially safer and may give you the best prospects in relieving back pain in the long-term.
The chronic, abnormal compression of a disc is so frequently the cause
In reality, pretty much the only cause of a slipped disc besides a trauma or accident, is compression. Discs are usually narrow, cushion-like pads that, when they’re not compressed, remain tall and in line with the vertebras that they protect from impact on a daily basis, and they provide your spine with flexibility of movement. Discs are rather akin to water balloons, in the sense that they remain squidgy until they are compressed, when in that case they can potentially too squashed and begin to leak their contents. When this starts to happen, the disc becomes far less tall, but fat, and poses a risk of compression to the nerves that run along the back of the vertebras – this can cause pain in the area to which the nerve is carrying the signal, and even numbness in the area as well. With this in mind, the only way to help a slipped disc and encourage the healing process to begin, is to relieve the compression on the disc, to allow space for the disc to become taller again.
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How to remove the compression from injured discs without surgery
One of the treatments we have at The Mayfair Clinic is specifically targeted towards giving the disc back the space it needs to be healthy and relieve the compression. Our Spinal Decompression therapy can be used on either the neck or lower back, depending on where the problem is located. Not to be confused with the surgical procedure – Spinal Decompression is a non-surgical alternative treatment which uses various different straps to apply a stretching motion on the affected area. Although this may sound slightly scary, most people suffering with disc pathologies may actually feel compressed and find the stretching motion a relaxing experience. The Spinal Decompression offers a safe treatment for slipped discs, and when combined with our other therapies such as K-Laser therapy or Spinal Impulse Adjusting Technology, can be made even more effective.
If you’ve been suffering with a slipped disc, or are perhaps contemplating the idea of having surgical intervention, remember that unless you are the victim of a one off trauma or accident where there has been substantial damage to a disc, having surgery may not be the most effective option for you. By treating the true cause of the problem, you’re more likely to achieve lasting results. At The Mayfair Clinic we start treatments to provide pain relief and correction to the spine, followed by rehabilitation in order to start to strengthen the spine and protect it from relapse as much as possible. We offer an examination, x-rays if clinically relevant, a diagnosis and your first treatment, all included in your first session. To book your first appointment, or to speak to one of our experts, call 0203 947 3222 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.