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Slipped disc in the back

Prolapsus discus intervertebralis lumbalis (Latin name)

By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

A slipped disc in the small of the back squeeze the nerves of one leg. The pains are therefore worst in the leg and not in the lower back. The strength and sensibility of the leg is reduced by a slipped disc. Most people with a slipped disc do not need surgery. You should contact your doctor immediately if you can not control your urination or stool, or you become lame in your leg.

The spine consists of bones that are built together in the same way as a tower of Legos. Between the individual Legos bricks there is a built-in slice of cartilage - a discus that gives strength and agility in the back. In the middle of the "Lego bricks" the nerve connects from the brain to the legs. If a discus breaks, it may pinch the nerves to the legs - it is called a slipped disc.

A slipped disc is seen with increasing frequency from 20 years to 40 years of age. The cause can sometimes be a heavy lift, but most often there are no known loads. Most people with a slipped disc have had multiple cases of pain in the lower back.

Pain in the lower back that radiates in one leg, and reduced force and reduced sensation in the leg are typical signs of a slipped disc in the lower back. The pain is worst in the leg and not in the lower back. This contrasts with common back pain without dislocation - here the pain is worse in the lower back and not in the leg.

In very rare cases, the broken disc can clamp on the nerves that control the urination and stool. If this happens you fail to control your urination and stools.

Most people with a slipped disc are currently treated with exercises, painkillers and physiotherapy. Only the fewest are being operated. It has been found that the best results are achieved if you do not operate.

Anyone with failed control of urination and stools, paralysis of the leg or where the course of long term is still being operated.

What can you do?

You should rather keep going. The condition is not improved if you are bedbound, but most people will not be able to move so much for the first day because of the pain. It is therefore important that you take painkillers – e.g. paracetamol that can be bought over the counter.

Contact the doctor tomorrow

In case of acute pain in the lower back, that radiates into one leg. With pain and reduced force or sensation in one leg.

Contact the doctor immediately

If your control of urination and bowel movement fails. If you get paralysis in the leg – e.g. the knee joint can not bend and stretch or the foot joint can not tilt up and down.