Fraud Blocker

Sciatica Clinic Richmond London


Introduction to slipped disc diagnosis and care

Slipped Disc Diagnosis: If you’re experiencing back pain, it’s possible that you may have a prolapsed disc. While the term “slipped disc” is commonly used to describe a wide range of back issues, it usually refers to what’s medically known as a herniated disc.

This condition occurs when the soft disc situated between the spinal vertebrae protrudes outward, causing pressure on the nerves and discomfort. Sometimes the soft tissue ruptures and the inner gel, which provides firmness and flexibility, may move to the outside which can interfere and irritate the nerves and, in some cases, the spinal cord. Fortunately, there are options for care that can alleviate the associated pain and discomfort.

In this article we’ll explore the diagnosis for a prolapsed disc and options for treatment, maintenance, and care in more detail for a clearer understanding.

What is a herniated disc?

It is a condition that can cause serious back pain and discomfort. It occurs when the soft tissue between the vertebrae of the spine protrudes outwards, putting pressure on the nerves and causing pain.

This can happen due to natural wear and tear, aging, or a sudden injury. Depending on the severity of the condition, symptoms may include sharp pain, tingling, or numbness in the back or legs. A proper diagnosis and treatment plan can help to alleviate pain and discomfort and prevent further damage.

With adequate care such as spinal decompression, walking, swimming, and a healthy lifestyle the disc may recover naturally.

Bulging disc symptoms Summary

The symptoms of a herniated disk can vary depending on the location and severity of the injury. Common symptoms of disc herniation in the lower back include sharp pain in the buttocks, legs, or feet, numbness or tingling in the legs, weakness in the legs, and difficulty standing or walking.

A bulging disc in the upper back can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms, as well as numbness or tingling in the arms and fingers. It is important to pay attention to these symptoms and seek medical attention if they persist or worsen.


What causes a slipped disc?

The most common cause of a slipped disc is aging, as the discs in our spine lose their flexibility and become more prone to injury. Other causes of a slipped disc include sudden trauma or injury to the spine, repetitive stress on the spine, poor posture, and obesity. Smoking and genetics can also increase the risk of disc problems.

Confirm if it’s a slipped disc

If you are experiencing symptoms of a slipped disc, it is important to seek medical attention to confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor or family Chiropractor may perform a physical examination and ask about your spinal history, family history, and symptoms. A clear diagnosis is a crucial first step to prevent deterioration and receive the best possible care.

Diagnostic tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan may also be ordered to confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of the injury. Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor or family Chiropractor can recommend the best course of treatment to relieve your symptoms and prevent further injury. You may also ask your Chiropractor do give you a second opinion by performing standing-up x-rays (if clinically required) and additional testing.

One difference of Chiropractors assessing the spine is that they perform standup x-rays using normal weight bearing, because x-rays that are taken laying down and MRI scans can skew results due to the weight distribution being more similar to a sleeping position rather than a standing one.

What are 3 signs and symptoms of a herniated disk?

A herniated disk, or ruptured disc, occurs when the soft inner portion of a spinal disc pushes through the tougher outer layer and presses on nearby nerves. Here are three common signs and symptoms of a discal herniation:


Pain in the affected area

Herniated discs can cause pain in the lower back, neck, or other areas of the body depending on where the affected disc is located.

Numbness or tingling

A herniated disc can cause numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet.

Weakness or difficulty moving

In some cases, a herniated disc can cause weakness or difficulty moving certain muscles or body parts.


Slipped disk in the lower back (lumbar herniation)

A lumbar herniation occurs when the soft inner portion of a spinal disc located in the bottom five vertebrae of the spine, known as the lumbar spine, push through the tougher outer layer and press on nearby nerves in the lower back.

A herniated lumbar disc can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet. Your family Chiropractor may use a combination of spinal adjustments, physical therapy, and other treatments to relieve your symptoms and improve your mobility.

After conducting a thorough initial consultation and checking your health record, an experienced Chiropractor may perform herniated disc treatments in the form or spinal traction and chiropractic spinal adjustments promote decompression and pain relief as a safe and effective non-surgical treatment modality.

Herniation in the lumbar spine is the most common, which can lead to sciatica symptoms and leg pain. An experienced Chiropractor will carefully assess all the evidence and formulate a treatment plan which includes corrective stretches and strengthening exercises to help stabilise the area whilst maintaining mobility.

Slipped disk in the neck (cervical disc herniation)

A cervical disc herniation, which affects the top seven vertebrae located in the neck, is the second most common form of herniation. You may be wondering if there’s big differences between the different types of herniation. Whilst the type of movement each section of the spinal column makes differ, and the size of the disc is smaller in the cervical area compared to the lumbar and thoracic vertebrae, the herniation of a disc in itself is extremely similar as it always consists of excessive pressure on the disc causing the inner gel to push towards the outside through the outer layer of the disc structure, resulting in pressure on nearby nerves or in extreme cases, the spinal cord.

This can cause shooting pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of strength in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. Your chiropractor may use a combination of spinal adjustments, cervical traction, and other treatments such as specific stretches and exercises for slipped disc treatment at home, in between visits. The aim is to stabilise the area and alleviate your symptoms promoting recovery of the disc.


Treatment for herniated disc and sciatica

There are several treatments available for a slipped disc and sciatica ranging from wholistic physical therapies such as Chiropractic, Physio and Osteopathy all the way through to surgical treatments depending on the severity and persistence of the condition.

Chiropractic care is a safe and effective non-invasive treatment option for patients with a slipped disc, which can help prevent or delay the need for surgery. Where surgery is unavoidable an experienced Chiropractor can still assist to avoid future relapses and promote healing and stabilisation through precision-based spinal adjustments.

Your chiropractor may use chiropractic adjustments, spinal traction, massage therapy, and other techniques to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve spinal alignment.

In addition to chiropractic care, other conservative nonsurgical treatment options may include physical therapy, acupuncture, and medication management. Surgery may be recommended in more severe cases, but it is typically considered a last resort option.

Herniated disc emergency symptoms

If you or a loved one suspects a disc herniation which is causing loss of bladder or bowel function and intolerable pain, call an ambulance or urgently visit the nearest A&E or hospital.

As with most injuries the earlier it is diagnosed, the quicker you can receive treatment. If unsure if your particular symptoms require emergency care, it is best to hinge on the side of caution and go.

You can also call 111 for further assistance and they will be able to assess the severity by conducting a telephone consultation. The NHS services will then triage your call and organise a follow up or advise you to go to the nearest A&E, and if unable they can mobilise the paramedics to pick you up.


Can a herniated disc heal on its own?

In some cases, when caught early on, a disc hernia can heal on its own with rest and conservative therapy such as chiropractic care, physical therapy, and medication management.

The self-healing process can take several weeks or months and it may not always be possible for the disc to fully heal without medical or chiropractic intervention. It is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms of a discal hernia, as early intervention can improve outcomes and prevent long-term damage.

What is the best painkiller for a herniated disc?

According to the Mayo Clinic “If your pain is mild to moderate, your doctor might recommend pain medication available without a prescription, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve)”.

Consider that OTC painkillers only offer temporary symptomatic relief without addressing the underlying causes. For this reason, long-term use is not recommended as it may cause unintended consequences such as dependency, increased levels of tolerance, requiring higher doses to achieve similar results the more time goes by. Always read the insert to check for potential side effects and follow the guidelines on dosage, frequency and recommended maximum use -Slipped Disc Diagnosis.

What is the best thing to do for a herniated disc?

The best thing to do for a herniation is to seek medical attention from a qualified healthcare professional. Your family chiropractor or medical doctor can diagnose the condition and recommend appropriate options for care based on the severity of the herniation and your individual needs.

Conservative holistic treatments such as chiropractic care, physical therapy, and osteopathy are often effective in relieving symptoms and improving function. In some cases, surgery may be necessary, but this is typically considered as a last resort option due to the risks.

Risk factors of a herniated disc

A disc herniation is a common spinal condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort. It occurs when the soft inner material of a spinal disc leaks out through a tear in the outer layer. While anyone can develop a herniated disc, certain factors can increase the risk of experiencing this condition. These include:

Age: The risk of developing a discal hernia increases as you age, as the discs in your spine can become more brittle and less flexible over time.

Weight: Being overweight or obese puts extra pressure on your spine, which can increase your risk of developing a disc herniation.

Occupation: Jobs that require repetitive lifting, bending, or twisting can put stress on your spine and increase your risk of slipped disc symptoms and herniation. However recent research indicates that prolonged sitting in an office based or work from home environment can increase the risk of disc herniation.

Genetics: Some people may be predisposed to developing discal hernias due to genetic factors.

Smoking: Smoking can reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches the discs in your spine, making them more vulnerable to injury and damage.

Inactivity: Lack of physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle can weaken the muscles that support your spine and increase your risk of developing a bulging spinal disc.

If you have any of the above factors or are experiencing symptoms of a herniated disc, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider or family chiropractor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan -Slipped Disc Diagnosis.

How serious is a herniated disc?

The seriousness of a prolapsed disc depends on several factors, including the location and severity of the herniation, the individual’s overall health, medical history, and treatment solutions available.

While a ruptured disc can cause significant pain and discomfort, most cases can be effectively managed using c0nservative care and natural treatments such as chiropractic care, corrective excercises and physical therapy.

However, if left untreated, a herniated intervertebral disc can lead to more serious complications such as nerve damage and loss of mobility. It is therefore important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms of a herniated disc to prevent long-term damage and improve outcomes.


How can I prevent getting a slipped disc?

While it is not always possible to prevent a slipped disc, there are certain steps you can take to reduce your risk. Registering with a family Chiropractor for corrective and preventative Chiropractic care can be extremely helpful to maintain good spinal health.

Maintaining a healthy weight, practicing good posture, and engaging in regular exercise to keep your back muscles strong can all help to prevent a slipped disc.

Additionally, avoiding repetitive movements and lifting heavy objects properly can also reduce your risk. If you work in a job that requires repetitive motions or heavy lifting, talk to your chiropractor about ways to protect your back.

How to get a slipped disc back in place?

When the word ‘slipped’ instead of disc prolapse is used, it conjures some mental imagery that skew the reality of what a bulging, prolapsed, slipped, ruptured, or herniated disk really is. It’s more of a prolapsed disc we’re talking about, not slipped as this suggests that the disc has moved out of it’s normal position.

To get slightly more technical the inner portion of the intervertebral disc is called the nucleus pulposus, which is surrounded by the annulus fibrosus. All very big words to describe a gel-like material that makes up approximately 40% of the disc and is situated within the layers of the annulus. The nucleus pulposus (gel inside the disc) is primarily made up of loose collagen fibers, water, and proteins.

The disc doesn’t slip, it partially ruptures or is severely weakened causing the disc to bulge like a squeezed baloon before the gel comes out. Or there may be an actual breach causing the inner gel-like material to come out, which reduces the integrity of the structure making it weaker. So it’s just a small portion of the inner gel that is ‘slipped’ to the outside, but the remaining disc is still in its original place.

The body will release special enzymes to clear up the gel and heal naturally. Typically, this may take around six months or so. In some cases where this doesn’t happen, or the pain is intolerable, surgery may be required as a last resort to help clear up the gel.


Will I need to have spinal surgery?

In most cases, spinal surgery is not necessary for a slipped disc. However, if conservative treatments like chiropractic care and physical therapy are not effective in relieving your symptoms, surgery may be an option. The most common types of spinal surgeries for a prolapsed disc include discectomy, laminectomy, and spinal fusion. Your surgeon can help you determine whether spinal surgery is necessary and, if so, which type of surgery is right for you.


What is the best slipped disc treatment?

The best slipped disc treatment will depend on your individual needs and symptoms. Chiropractic care, such as spinal adjustments, is often effective in relieving lower back pain and reducing pressure on the affected disc.

Your chiropractor may also recommend massage therapy, dry needling, or other complementary therapies and exercises to help manage your symptoms. In some cases, over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medication may be necessary to manage pain and inflammation. If conservative treatments are not effective, spinal surgery may be an option -Slipped Disc Diagnosis.

Your chiropractor and GP can help you determine which forms of treatment are best suited for your needs.

How Chiropractic helps keep your discs healthy

Chiropractic care is an effective way to prevent and treat slipped discs. Through gentle spinal adjustments and other non-invasive techniques, chiropractors can help restore proper alignment of the spine, which in turn helps reduce pressure on the discs -Slipped Disc Diagnosis.

By reducing this pressure and restoring proper motion to the spine, chiropractic care can help keep the discs healthy and prevent future injuries. In addition, chiropractors can provide advice on exercises and stretches to help strengthen the muscles supporting the spine and reduce the risk of future injuries.



In conclusion, a slipped disc can be a painful and debilitating condition, but thankfully there are solutions available. From conservative treatments like chiropractic care and physical therapy to more invasive options like surgery, the key is to work with a qualified healthcare provider to find the right treatment plan for you -Slipped Disc Diagnosis.

By taking steps to prevent disc injuries and seeking prompt treatment if you suspect a slipped disc, you can minimize the impact of this condition on your health and quality of life.


Slipped Intervertebral Disc FAQs

How to relieve herniated disc pain in lower back at home

If you’re experiencing herniated disc pain in your lower back, there are several home remedies you can try to alleviate your discomfort. First, it’s important to rest your back and avoid activities that worsen your pain. You can apply heat or ice to the affected area, whichever provides more relief, for 15-20 minutes at a time. Gentle stretching and exercises can also help to ease pain and promote healing. See our blog post on stretches for alleviating lower back pain and sciatica. Additionally, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage your symptoms -Slipped Disc Diagnosis.

What is the recovery time for a herniated disc?

The recovery time for a prolapsed disc varies depending on the severity of the injury and the treatment plan. Mild cases may resolve within a few weeks with conservative treatments such as chiropractic care, rest, and physical therapy.

In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary, and recovery can take several months. It’s important to follow your GP and Chiropractor’s recommended treatment plan and take steps to prevent further injury.

How can a Chiropractor assist with a herniated disc?


Chiropractic care can be an effective treatment option for disc prolapse. A chiropractor can use spinal adjustments and other techniques to help relieve pressure on the affected disc, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.

Your family Chiropractor may also recommend exercises and stretches to help strengthen the muscles supporting the spine and prevent further injury. In addition, chiropractic care can help address any underlying musculoskeletal imbalances or postural distortions that may be contributing to the herniated disc -Slipped Disc Diagnosis.

To book your first visit to establish a clear root cause diagnosis and determine if you have a slipped disc condition, call our 24/7 booking line tel: 020 8948 9102 or schedule an appointment using our online portal.