Injury or weakness can cause the inner portion of the disc to protrude through the outer ring. This is known as a slipped, herniated, or prolapsed disc.
Disc herniations are normally a further development of a previously existing disc “protrusion”, a condition in which the outermost layers of the annulus fibrosus are still intact, but can bulge when the disc is under pressure. In contrast to a herniation, none of the nucleus pulposus escapes beyond the outer layers.
Factors that lead to slipped disc include aging with associated degeneration and loss of elasticity of the discs and supporting structures; Poor posture combined with the habitual use of incorrect body mechanics, hard physical labour (delivery), improper lifting, especially if accompanied by twisting or turning; excessive strain, and sudden forceful trauma. A herniation may develop suddenly or gradually over weeks or months.
Herniated discs can occur in any part of the spine. Herniated discs are more common in the lower back especially at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels (lumbar disc herniation). This is because the lumbar spine carries most of the body’s weight. The second most common area is neck (cervical disc herniation). The area in which you experience pain depends on what part of the spine is affected.
The progression to an actual Herniation varies from slow to sudden onset of symptoms. There are four stages:
- disc protrusion
- prolapsed disc
- disc extrusion
- sequestered disc
Stages 1 and 2 are referred to as incomplete, where 3 and 4 are complete herniations. Pain resulting from herniation may be combined with a radiculopathy, which means neurological deficit. The deficit may include sensory changes (i.e. tingling, numbness) and/or motor changes (i.e. weakness, reflex loss). These changes are caused by nerve compression created by pressure from interior disc material.
People between the ages of 30 and 50 appear to be vulnerable because the elasticity and water content of the nucleus decreases with age. But of late it is seen that even the people around age group 20 – 30 are also getting affected with slip disc, because of their life style, stress and diet habits.
Ayurveda Management of Slip disc
Ayurveda categorized Slip disc as one of diseases caused by vitiation Vata (one of the principle dosha in the body, responsible for the movement and functionality of the body). Treatment in Ayurveda is aimed at restoring the equilibrium through correction of the underlying functional in-equilibrium. Ayurvedic treatments for Slip disc concentrate on bringing back the aggravated vata to the state of equilibrium and thereby to the state of health.
At CHARAKA, we are providing very effective and most successful treatment for Slip disc or herniated disc. With our vast experience in treating Spine related conditions, today we are successfully dealing even post surgical recurrence cases.
The treatment comprises of Detoxification and rejuvenation through Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy, administration of researched medicines internally.
The therapies like Abyanga swedam, Nasyam, Pathrapotala swedam, Choornapinda swedam, Pizhichil, Shirodhara, Kadeevasthy, Greevavasthy, Navarakizhi, Vasti etc. are done as per the necessity and condition. These therapies are directed towards relieving the inflammatory changes, releasing the spasms and nerve compressions in the affected area, strengthening the supportive tissues holding the spine, nourishing the joints through improving the circulation. Usually the treatment period is 4 – 5 weeks according to the severity of the disease.
In four to six weeks, the majority of patients find their symptoms are relieved, without surgery. If patient can come for the treatment in early stages, even total cure without recurrence is also possible.