Prolapsed Disc

What Is A Prolapsed Disc & How Is It Treated?

A prolapsed disc or prolapsed disk is a slipped disc that resembles a bulge. Patients with disc prolapse can expect full recovery if they receive timely care that targets the root causes holistically without medication, injections, or surgery. This article discusses causes, signs, symptoms, and treatment options for slipped discs categorized as prolapsed discs.

Getting the proper prolapsed disc treatment at the beginning of your aches and pains helps you avoid unnecessary pain and suffering. The best and most effective non-surgical treatment for slipped discs is the NSD Therapy® protocol. It is a combined and integrative method provided by the top 2 non-surgical professions; chiropractors and physiotherapists. More importantly, the chiropractic & physiotherapy you get during an NSD Therapy® session is slipped-disc-specific. Contact us today to schedule an appointment; getting your prolapsed disc treated correctly is critical in avoiding spine surgery. 

We can help you recover from a prolapsed disc with our new evidence-based methods that combine chiropractic, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation with advanced therapeutic modalities to fix and repair damaged discs without surgery. Contact us for the latest in conservative slipped disc treatments of disc prolapse.

What Is A Prolapsed Disc?

A prolapsed disc is a damaged disc that slips and gets displaced. Spinal discs are tough and strong enough to sustain stresses throughout life without bugling, protruding, or prolapsing. For a disc to slip, bulge, protrude, prolapse, herniate, or extrude, it must have pre-existing wear and tear, as seen in disc desiccation and degeneration. In short, a healthy disc will not prolapse or get displaced.

What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of A Prolapsed Disc?

Disc prolapse can cause neck or back pain and numbness, tingling, burning, and pain in the arms and legs. Pain and discomfort in the neck, upper back, mid-back, lower back, buttocks, or limbs are common signs of a slip disc. The two most common sites for a prolapsed slip disc include the neck and the lower back. We divided symptoms of prolapsed slip discs into two categories, the neck and lower back:

illustrating the slip-disc impact of a prolapsed disc on spinal cord and nerves

Symptoms of slipped disc caused by a prolapsed intervertebral disc in the neck:

Slipped disks in the neck are a health condition with far-reaching consequences. They may compress or obliterate the spinal cord leading to severe pains, disabilities, or organ failures when the spinal cord is critically compressed. The three critical functions are to bear the head's weight, provide passage for the spinal cord, and enable movements or motions to help scan our surroundings. Here are the common symptoms of a prolapsed intervertebral disc at the neck’s C4-C5, C5-C6, or C6-C7) segments:

  • Pain in the neck, chest, or upper back
  • Pain in shoulders, arms, or hands
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the neck, upper back, chest, shoulders, arms, or hands.

Disc prolapse symptoms for the lower back:

Lumbar or lower back prolapses are most common at L3-L4, L4-L5, or L5-S1 spinal discs. Disc prolapse in the lower back is the source of pain and can become debilitating with the non-contained prolapsed discs or if the prolapse presents with co-condition such as facet or ligamentum flavum hypertrophy, bone spurs, spondylosis, scoliosis, or spondylolisthesis. Here is a list of symptoms of a lower back disc prolapse:

  • Back pain and pain in the buttocks
  • Sciatica 
  • Painful hips, thighs, or calves
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the back, buttocks, hips, thighs, calves, ankles, feet, or toes.

What Are The Treatment Options For A Prolapsed Slipped Disc?

infographic on prolapsed disc

Treatment of a  disc prolapse must focus on repairing damaged tissues, including muscles, ligaments, joints, and spinal discs, naturally and non-invasively. Physicians prescribe painkillers or injections with or without physiotherapy. Some may find relief for some time with these practices. However, most will experience frequent flare-ups post-treatment.

Treatment of slip discs through medication and physiotherapy when the prescribed physiotherapy is focused and slip-disc-specific. General neck or back physiotherapy may feel good but fails to provide lasting relief. A proposed disc should never be surgically operated on or injected with corticosteroids.

A suitable method of treating slipped disks, including bulging, prolapsed, or herniated discs, is through a combination of slipped-disc-specific methods of chiropractic combined with physiotherapy and personalized rehabilitation. The best treatment system for slip discs caused by herniations, bulges, or prolapses is through the integrative approaches of NSD Therapy®. NSD Therapy® systems of slipped-disc treatments incorporating evidence-based chiropractic methods combined with slipped-disc-specific physiotherapy and rehabilitation through specialized therapeutic devices and manual procedures that target the slipped disc's damaged tissues to repair and reverse the severity or extent of the damage.

The initial medical treatment for a patient with a prolapsed disc in the neck or back can include muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory medications, or painkillers. It is important to note that medication, analgesics, or anti-inflammatory meds will not repair or cure slipped discs, including the prolapsed disc.

How Serious Is A Disc Prolapse?

A prolapsed disc is a severe condition due to its compressive effects on the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Disc prolapse patients with co-conditions such as spondylolisthesis, facet hypertrophy, and hypertrophy of ligamentum flavum are at greater risk of developing neurological issues that limit daily life.

Any type of spinal disc damage is severe and in need of attention. Even the most minor disc damage, such as degenerated disc or disc bulge, should not be ignored. A prolapsed disc is a progression of a bulging and degenerated disc, which can cause debilitating pain and radicular symptoms. Pain, numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the arms or legs are radicular symptoms resulting from a slipped disc that causes nerve irritation or compression.

What Happens If You Ignore A Disc Prolapse?

Neglect of prolapse can lead to severe and large slipped discs. Disc prolapses are unique as they are the only type of slipped disc classified as contained or non-contained slipped discs. A contained slip disk is one where the nucleus pulposus maintains its normal position in the center of the disc. Contained slip disk classifications are revered for bulges and protrusions. However, there are instances where a prolapsed disc is also classified as a contained slip disk in early presentation or stages. However, late-stage prolapsed discs are non-contained; disc prolapse can pose more significant dangers than bulges or prolapsed discs.