‘Slipped disc’ is a common term used to describe an injury to the lower back. While discs may herniate or bulge from between the bones, they do not actually slip. A herniation is a displaced fragment at the center of the disc that pushes through the outer layer of the disc. Discs that herniate are often in an early stage of degeneration.
Poor nutrition, smoking, lack of exercise, and other poor lifestyle choices are often a source of poor disc health. Poor posture, physically excessive daily activities, as well as injury are other contributing factors. A disc can herniate upon a movement as simple coughing or bending to pick something up.
Herniations often occur between ages 30 and 40. While they may be present without causing pain, symptoms include pain radiating across the hips to the buttocks. Numbness may be experienced in the foot or toes. In severe cases of a lumbar disc herniation, difficulty may be experienced in bowl, bladder, and sexual functions.
Stretching, exercise, and chiropractic care usually treat mild to moderate disc herniations. Spinal decompression may be necessary for advanced cases.
In severe cases, surgery may be required as a last resort if therapy fails to treat the symptoms.