Back pain, a common issue affecting millions, can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. It can be caused by many factors, but one possible cause is a slipped disc, also known as a herniated disc.

A slipped disc occurs when the soft, cushion-like discs between your spine's bones get damaged. This can happen due to lifting heavy objects, twisting awkwardly, or simply from wear and tear over time. When a disc slips, it can press on nearby nerves, causing pain, numbness, or weakness in your back. Sometimes, this pain can even extend to your legs or arms.

Feeling tired all the time from dealing with back pain? If you’re experiencing persistent discomfort, it might be due to a slipped disc. It's essential to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Don't let back pain control your life; take steps to find relief and improve your quality of life.

A disc helps in protecting the bones of the spine by absorbing the shocks from daily activities such as lifting, twisting and walking. The discs of the spine are also called intervertebral discs.

Most of the time the affected area is lower back, but any disc in the body can be ruptured, including those in the neck.


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What do you mean by slipped disc?

Slipped disc does not mean that the disc actually got slipped. But it means that it got ruptured, split or bulged. This rupturing of disc can fail the nearby tissues along with the disc cartilage, which allows the inner gel of the disc to escape into the surrounding area. This jelly-like substance may put pressure on the spinal cord or any adjacent nerve which can cause symptoms like pain, weakness and numbness in that area.

The condition is also referred as ruptured disc, herniated disc, prolapsed disk.


Slipped Disc Symptoms

Symptoms of a slipped Disc can be from mild to severe and can vary from person to person.


  • Pain extending from your back to your arms and neck

  • Back pain while standing and even sitting

  • Muscle weakness

  • Itching, burning, tingling in the affected area

  • Numbness and pain on one side of the body

  • Back pain that worsens at night and after certain movements

The severity and type of pain may vary from person to person. One must not delay in consulting a doctor if one experiences back pain that results in tingling and affects their ability to control their muscles.


How is it diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will conduct a thorough examination to diagnose a herniated disk. During the physical exam, they will evaluate your pain, muscle reflexes, sensation, and muscle strength. Additionally, they will inquire about symptoms like back pain and tiredness, as these can be key indicators of a herniated disk and its impact on your overall health. Understanding the extent of your discomfort and fatigue helps in developing an effective treatment plan. 

They may order several tests, such as:


  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): This is the most common and accurate imaging test for diagnosing a suspected herniated disk.

  • X-rays: X-rays are used to rule out other causes of back or neck pain.

  • Computed Tomography (CT): A CT scan provides detailed images of the bones in your spine. It can show if herniated disks have moved into the space around your spinal cord and nerves and if they are pressing on them.

  • Myelogram: This involves an injection of dye into your spine, guided by X-ray, followed by a CT scan. The dye highlights a narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) and the location of the herniated disk.

  • Electromyogram (EMG): Small needles are inserted into various muscles to evaluate nerve function. An EMG helps identify which nerve is affected by the herniated disk.


How is slipped disc treated?

The treatment depends on how severe the problem is. It can be treated through conventional methods like medicine and physiotherapy to surgery.

There are four cases of a slipped disc. Starting from mild to severe, they include disc bulge, disc protrusion, disc extrusion and disc sequestration. In case of bulging disc, a patient is advised to get physiotherapy done. Along with physiotherapy, some muscle relaxants may also be given. But in a sequestration disc, when the inner jelly-like part completely falls out, detaching itself, surgery is recommended, followed by physiotherapy.

And surgery is preferred when the pain starts travelling from back to legs and becomes persistent.


What are the complications of a slipped disc?

An untreated, severe slipped disc can result in permanent nerve damage. In very rare instances, a slipped disc can interrupt nerve impulses to the cauda equina nerves in your lower back and legs, potentially leading to loss of bowel or bladder control.

Another serious complication is called saddle anesthesia. In this condition, the slipped disc compresses nerves, causing a loss of sensation in your inner thighs, the back of your legs, and around your rectum.

Additionally, a slipped disc can cause persistent back pain and feelings of tiredness, impacting your overall quality of life. While symptoms of a slipped disc may improve over time, they can also worsen. If you find yourself unable to perform activities you once could, or if you experience persistent tiredness and back pain, it’s important to see your doctor.


Issues that can increase your chances of getting a slipped disc -

  • Your Sedentary lifestyle - Sitting all day with no exercise can make your muscles weak and can increase your chances of getting slipped disc, says Best Physiotherapist in Noida. Nine to five job where we all just sit with our backs hunched puts us at risk. This type of lifestyle can make you both sad and sick.

  • Gym – Gym is a good way to keep yourself in shape. But doing the exercise in a right way is also important for your own safety. You should take proper guidance from your gym instructor while lifting weights in order to avoid any kind of back injury.

  • Smoking - We all know that smoking is injurious to health and it can also put you at a risk of getting slipped disc. Smoking reduces blood circulation to the inner and outer part of the disc, making it weak. When the disc becomes weak then even a slightest jerk or injury can make it fall out of place and cause slipped disc.

  • Stress - Any mental stress can also increase your chances of getting slipped disc. When a person is stressed, his/her muscles become stiff and tight. In this case, even a slight shock or jerk can cause the disc to bulge, says physiotherapist of Felix Hospital.

  • Obesity - If a person is overweight, the discs will have to bear extra pressure, which definitely can lead to the problem of slipped disc.


Sitting smartly, standing smartly and walking smartly are the keys to avoid any kind of back problem.


If you have any queries or issues related to your physical pain like arthritis, frozen shoulder, golfer elbow, neck pain, back pain etc. You can visit Felix hospital and meet the best orthopedic and physiotherapist panel near you.

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Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is crucial in preventing and managing a slipped disc. By incorporating regular exercise, practicing proper posture, and avoiding risk factors such as smoking, stress, and obesity, you can significantly reduce your chances of developing this painful condition. If you experience any symptoms of a slipped disc, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent complications and help you regain your quality of life. Remember, your spine's health is vital for your overall well-being, so take proactive steps to protect it.




1. Why do I feel so tired and my back hurts?

Fatigue and back pain can be caused by various factors such as poor posture, muscle strain, stress, lack of sleep, or underlying medical conditions like anemia or thyroid disorders. It’s important to assess your lifestyle and consult a healthcare provider if symptoms persist.


2. How do I know if my back pain is serious?

Back pain is considered serious if it is accompanied by symptoms like numbness, weakness, fever, unexplained weight loss, or if the pain persists for more than a few weeks. If you experience these symptoms, you should see a ortho specialist immediately.


3. How do I know if my back pain is organ-related?

Back pain that is organ-related may be accompanied by symptoms like nausea, vomiting, changes in bowel or bladder habits, or pain that radiates to other areas such as the abdomen. Consult a healthcare provider to determine the cause of your pain.


4. What are the red flags for back pain?

Red flags for back pain include severe pain that doesn't improve with rest, pain that radiates down the legs, numbness or tingling, difficulty walking, loss of bladder or bowel control, and a history of cancer or osteoporosis. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.


5. What causes fatigue and back pain?

Fatigue and back pain can be caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors such as muscle strain, poor posture, lack of physical activity, stress, depression, and chronic medical conditions like fibromyalgia or arthritis.

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