What is Slip Disc?

When the disc or cushion slips into the spinal canal causing compression of nerve/ nerves it is called SLIP DISC OR HERNIATED DISC or SPINAL STENOSIS. Compression of the nerve/ nerves results in BACK PAIN or Buttock pain or LEG PAIN.


What is the cause of Slip Disc?

Slip disc is the result of daily wear and tear. It is an ongoing process of aging of the disc. This wear and tear process is called Degeneration and is related to daily activities over a period of time aggravated by poor posture and weak core muscles.




What are the Symptoms of  Slip Disc?

Slip disc may cause loss of bowel or bladder control with weakness in lower limbs called cauda equina syndrome (CES) which rarely may cause paralysis of one or both lower limbs.


How do we diagnose Slip disc?

Your spine specialist may examine you clinically and may ask for investigations like X- rays and MRI scans to diagnose the presence of slip disc in presence of symptoms. MRI can show various grades of Slip disc and may also suggest if surgery is really needed in view of ongoing compression of nerves in the spinal canal.

Commonly asked questions about Slip Disc/ Sciatica/ Herniation

Do all patients with Slip Disc require surgery?

No – Most of the patients with Slip disc/ Disc herniation get better with non-surgical methods

What are the non-surgical options in slip disc/ herniated disc/ sciatica?

Normally the type of non-surgical treatment is decided based on the duration and severity of symptoms in consultation with your spine surgeon/spine specialist. The options available for slip disc treatment are

  1. Medications — NSAIDS/ Muscle relaxants / Pregabalin /TCAS/nonopioid analgesics
  2. Hot fomentation
  3. Cold sponging
  4. Physical therapy
  5. SWD
  6. However before one resorts to any options, one should have the opinion of a spine specialist.
Is physiotherapy useful in slip disc ?

Yes – Physiotherapy has a major role in herniated disc recovery. It teaches how to condition your body to prevent further injury and help in the recovery of the painful episode. Physiotherapy shall be taken in the supervision and guidance of a spine specialist.

When is surgery for a Slip disc required?

Most patients with slip disc respond well to non-surgical treatments (such as medication),

  • Indications for spinal surgery in slip disc/ herniated disc are:
  • No response / partial response to non-surgical treatments
  • Progressive radiculopathy, – pain, numbness, and tingling in the arms or legs.
  • Loss of power/sensation in arms or legs.
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control.




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